Planting (and Planning) for Climate Change

The distribution of forest regions themselves are based on climate as well as topography. Changes in climate affect the distribution of plant species, which thereby change the composition of a forests like PEI's Acadian Forests. Species differ in the way they interact with the environment around them and; therefore, have an impact on the ecosystem properties themselves.

Fullerton's Conservation Park, Stratford

It is imperative that forest management take changing climate into account when planning for forest longevity. Tree species that are suitable to plant now are expected grow in a different climate than the one today. In fact, there are some species that may not be able to migrate or adapt quickly enough to thrive or tolerate a rapidly changing climate.

The problem we face; however, is that experts are still learning how to accurately forecast these changes and study the ability of each tree species to adapt to the new conditions.

Island watershed groups like SAWIG are taking these concerns into account and aim to plant tree species that follow the predicted distribution and forest composition changes caused by climate change.