Author(s): Guillaume Peterson St-Laurent, Shannon Hagerman, Robert Kozak
Published in: Climatic Change (November 2018)
What risks matter? Public views about assisted migration and other climate-adaptive reforestation strategies
n the western Canadian province of British Columbia, changes in temperature, precipitation, and disturbance regimes are already impacting forests. In response to these observed and anticipated changes, adapted reforestation practices are being developed and proposed as a means to help forest ecosystems adjust to changing climatic conditions. One such practice under consideration is assisted migration—planting species within or outside of the native historical range into areas that are anticipated to be climatically suitable in the future.
We used a survey of British Columbia’s population at large (n = 1923) to quantify levels of support for a range of potential reforestation options (including assisted migration) to adapt to climate change, and to explore what factors can help predict this support. Our findings reveal that the likely location of potential public controversy resides not with the potential implementation of assisted migration strategies per se, but rather with assisted migration strategies that involve movement of tree species beyond their native range.
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