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Webinar: Integrated Assessment of Canadian Forest Vulnerability to Climate Change

Image of Canadian Forest
Webinar Presentation

Summary

This resource was submitted by the Climate Risk Institute for use by the CanAdapt Climate Change Adaptation Community of Practice.

This article is an abridged version of the original text, which can be downloaded from the right-hand column. Please access the original text for more detail, research purposes, full references, or to quote text.

Projected changes in climate conditions vary widely across Canada, and so does the capacity of forest species to cope with these changes. Forest vulnerabilityto climatechange iscomposed ofthree components:

  • Exposure” refersto themagnitude of environmental change
  • “Sensitivity” defines the degree to which a species is likely to be affected by (or respond to) climate change, and
  • “Adaptive capacity” describes the species capacity to cope with the expected changes through acclimation or adaptation.

Building upon the work of a multidisciplinary group of experts, we developed species-specific indices of sensitivity to the main climate stressors using a trait based approach. These indices were used to improve exposure-based assessments as well as to identify species requiring management consideration. We developed Canada-wide maps of climate change vulnerabilities thathighlight important regional contrasts between vulnerability to drought and to migration failure. These mapswereimplemented as a web-based tool to provide localized information. By affecting either species’ ability to persist in place or to migrate, different climate change impacts can yield distinct biotic responses, with important implications for regional climate change adaptation strategies.

Watch this 2-part webinar series to learn more about the recent advances in the quantification of the three vulnerability components in Canadian forests, and discover what this means for developing “climate friendly” silvicultural practices.

About the speaker:

Isabelle Aubinis a Research Scientist in vegetation ecology with the Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada) in Sault Ste. Marie, as well as Adjunct Professor at Université du Québec en Outaouais and at Sherbrooke University. The central questions behind her research are the impacts of human-mediated disturbances on forest ecosystems, with a focus on the application of ecological theory to practical problems in forest management.

This weADAPT article is an abridged version of the original text, which can be downloaded from the right-hand column. Please access the original text for more detail, research purposes, full references, or to quote text.

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