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Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

36 J.

36 J. Biringer and L.J. Hansen land management activities across the landscape in response to changing habitat suitability. A specific case for a buffer zone surrounding tropical montane cloud forests can be made based on research that shows that the upwind effects to deforestation of lowland forests causes the cloud base to rise. 60 Restoring forest around protected areas, for example to supply timber through continuous cover forestry, or for nontimber forest products, watershed protection, or as recreational areas, could help maintain the quality of the protected area in the face of climate change. Maintain genetic diversity and promote ecosystem health via restoration: Adaptation to climate change via selection of resilient species depends on genetic variation. Efforts to maintain genetic diversity should be applied, particularly in degraded landscapes or within populations of commercially important trees (where genetic diversity is often low due to selective harvesting). In such places where genetic diversity has been reduced, restoration, especially using seed sources from lower elevations or latitudes, can play a vital role in maintaining ecosystem resilience. 61 Hogg and Schwarz 62 suggest that assisted regeneration could be used in southern boreal forests in Canada where drier conditions may decrease natural regeneration of conifer species. Similarly, genotypes of beach pine forests in British Columbia may need assistance in redistributing across the landscape in order to maintain long-term productivity. 63 In addition, species that are known to be more resilient to impacts in a given landscape can be specifically selected for replanting. For example, trees with thick bark can be planted in areas prone to fire to increase tree survival during increased frequency and severity of fires. 64 60 Lawton et al, 2001. 61 Noss, 2000. 62 Hogg and Schwarz, 1997. 63 Rehfeldt et al, 1999. 64 Dale et al, 2001. 4. Future Needs Documentation of the role restoration plays in building resilience to climate change is in its infancy. Although field projects are beginning to test restoration as a resilience-building tool, we are far from definitive guidance. Unfortunately, this is the nature of the practice of conservation; decisions based on best knowledge need to be made now while we continue to gather more information. Otherwise, opportunities will be lost. To meet these needs we propose additional field projects to test, confirm, and develop restoration’s role in building resilience to climate change. This needs to be conducted across different forest types with as much replication as possible. A strong monitoring component is necessary for any such project, especially given the complex relationships between species’ structure, composition, and functioning on which climate change is unfolding. The results of monitoring will also enable lessons to be drawn from resilience-building efforts, and to compare these with similar “control” landscapes or other resiliencebuilding projects in different regions with similar habitat type. Ideally, resilience-building management strategies will serve as another layer in a comprehensive forest management plan that has as its objective the overall health of the forest ecosystem. For example, many WWF ecoregional visions are adding vulnerability to climate change as another component that will drive conservation decisions. Such anticipatory resilience-building plans take climate change into account during the planning process, and will better ensure synergies with other management priorities. A number of scientific, governmental institutions and nongovernmental organisations (NGO) are acquiring expertise in the area of climate change impacts and adaptation/resilience. It will be fruitful to seek partnerships with these institutions at the beginning of any restoration project to analyse climate impacts and proposed restoration activities.

References Biringer, J. 2003. Forest ecosystems threatened by climate change: promoting long-term forest resilience. In: Hansen, L.J., Biringer, J.L., and Hoffman, J.R. eds. Buying Time: A User’s Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems.WWF,Washington, pp. 41–69. (Also online at www.panda.org/climate/ pa_manual) Dale, V., Joynce, L., McNurlty, S., et al. 2001. Climate change and forest disturbances. Bioscience 51(9): 723–734. Hansen, A., Neilson, R., Dale, V., et al. 2001. Global change in forests: responses of species, communities, and Biomes. Bioscience 51(9):765–779. Hansen, L.J., Biringer, J.L., and Hoffman, J.R. eds. 2003. Buying Time: A User’s Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems. WWF, Washington, 242 pages. (Also online at www.panda.org/climate/pa_ manual.) Hogg, E., and Schwarz, A. 1997. Regeneration of planted conifers across climatic moisture gradients on the Canadian prairies: implications for distribution and climate change. Journal of Biogeography 24:527–534. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 2001. Impacts, Adaptations and Vulnerability.Working Group II,Third Assessment Report. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1032 pages. Kumaraguru A.K., and Beamish, F.W.H. 1981. Lethal toxicity of permethrin (NRDC 143) to rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri, in relation to body weight and water temperature. Water Research 15:503– 505. Lawton, R., Nair, U., Pielke, R., and Welch, R. 2001. Climate impact of tropical lowland deforestation on nearby montane cloud forests. Science 294 (5542):584–587. Lewis, R., and Streever, B. 2000. Restoration of mangrove habitat. WRP Technical Notes Collection 5. Restoring Forest Landscapes in the Face of Climate Change 37 (ERDC TN-WRP-VN-RS-3.2), U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. www.wes.army.mil/el/wrp. McLusky, D.S., Bryant, V., and Campbell, R. 1986. The effects of temperature and salinity on the toxicity of heavy metals to the marine and estuarine invertebrates. Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review 24:481–520. Noss, 2000. Managing forests for resistance and resilience to climate change: a report to World Wildlife Fund U.S., 53 pages. Noss, R. 2001. Beyond Kyoto: forest management in a time of rapid climate change. Conservation Biology 15(3):578–590. Rehfeldt G., Ying, C., Spittlehouse D., and Hamilton, D., Jr. 1999. Genetic response to climate in Pinus contorta: niche breadth, climate change and reforestation. Ecological Monographs 69(3):375–407. Sanyal, P. 1998. Rehabilitation of degraded mangrove forests of the Sunderbans of India. Programme of the International Workshop on the Rehabilitation of Degraded Coastal Systems. Phuket Marine Biological Center, Phuket, Thailand, January 19–24, p. 25. Sekula, J. 2000. Circumpolar boreal forests and climate change: impacts and managerial responses. An unpublished discussion paper prepared jointly by the IUCN Temperate and Boreal Forest Programme and the IUCN Global Initiative on Climate Change. Tri, N.H., Adger, W.N., and Kelly, P.M. 1998. Natural resource management in mitigating climate impacts: the example of mangrove restoration in Vietnam. Global Environmental Change 8(1): 49–61. Additional Reading Krankina, O., Dixon, R., Kirilenko,A., and Kobak, K. 1997. Global climate change adaptation: examples from Russian boreal forests. Climatic Change 36(1–2):197–215.

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