The UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve (FBR) has released the long awaited results of research into climate change-resilient tree species in southern New Brunswick.

The FBR recently completed an analysis of which native tree species has the most chance to prosper under changing climatic conditions over the next 100 years, as well as those that will most probably merely persevere, and which could even decline. Northern trees species like spruces, fir, birches, and poplars will likely face more insects, disease, extreme weather, and competition, which would lead to slower growth and higher mortality. By contrast, southern species such as maples, oak, pines, beech, hemlock, and cherry should have a longer growing season and thus, faster growth. 

The FBR has created a pamphlet that describes the eight ‘winners’ for the changing climate.  It describes the trees and their preferred growing conditions, so that woodlot owners, foresters, municipalities, and the general public are armed with the right information about what to plant and where

As the climate changes and less-resilient species begin to decline and disappear, the Acadian Forest composition in southern New Brunswick (as well as throughout the Maritimes) will also change. This means that the forest as we know it today will later contain fewer of those northern species, and probably more of these “winners”. But the forest will need help from residents of the region, notably in planting these resilient species.

By planning ahead for climate change and planting tree species that have a better chance to thrive, we can help ensure that there will be healthy and beautiful trees in our neighborhoods and parks as well as in the forest, to be enjoyed by generations to come. An informative brochure has thus been developed to help 

The other component of this research is related to forest corridors. As climate change and deforestation affect the forest, wildlife can become cut-off.  The FBR is working with other organizations to try and establish forest corridors based on areas with climate change resilient trees, helping plants and animals move freely around the FBR or to and from Nova Scotia.

More information on this project, including a detailed research report and maps showing current and projected forest composition within the Fundy Biosphere Reserve, is available at http://www.fundy-biosphere.ca/en/home/forests-of-the-future.html.
 
 

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