Impacts of climate change on forestry in Wales
Lead Author: Duncan Ray
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Lead Author: Duncan Ray
Climate change is now one of the greatest global challenges, and research is under way to establish the likely impacts on many aspects of the environment. Forestry Commission Wales has commissioned Forest Research to determine how forests and forestry in Wales will be affected by climate change. This Research Note provides an initial synopsis of the likely impacts, with preliminary recommendations to support the revision of the Wales Woodland Strategy. Climate change will create challenges and opportunities for the Welsh forest industry. Productivity will increase in some areas and a wider selection of species will become suitable, but effects will vary spatially and by species. New approaches to woodland management will be required to address potential threats of drought, increased pest and disease damage, and wind damage. There are many uncertainties associated with climate change, and the likely impact on trees, management systems and forest operations. A key concept in risk planning and management is diversification: from broadening the choice of genetic material, mixing tree species in stands, to varying management systems and the timing of operations. An aspiration of the current Wales Woodland Strategy is to increase the proportion of woodlands managed using low impact silvicultural systems. This conforms with the need to adapt management through species choice, promote management that has a lower environmental impact on forest sites, and improve the overall resilience of woodland ecosystems to climate change.
This Research Note is also available in Welsh – Effeithiau newid yn yr hinsawdd ar goedwigaeth yng Nghymru.
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