Low impact silvicultural systems such as continuous cover forestry will help to maintain shade and shelter within woodland habitats. High quality timber from productive woodlands, such as this Douglas-fir in Gywdr forest, can be achieved by selecting species well suited to sites and climatic conditions in future decades.
- The expected warmer climate will improve tree growth nationally. Productivity will generally increase, by up to 2 to 4 cubic metres per hectare per year (m3 ha-1 yr-1) for conifers on sites where water and nutrients are not limiting.
- The climate of central and eastern Wales is likely to remain favourable for growing broadleaved species capable of yielding high-quality timber.
- Except under the high-emissions scenario later this century, oak and ash suitability will remain high providing some security for robust native woodland habitats in Wales.
- The species assemblages of woodland communities are likely to change.
- Changes in the seasonal distribution of rainfall will cause more frequent summer drought and more frequent winter flooding.
- Changes in the frequency of extreme winds may cause more wind damage.
- Pest and disease ecology will change with the climate; for example, more frequent green spruce aphid attacks may reduce Sitka spruce growth in west, east and south Wales.
- Low-impact silvicultural systems (LISS) and the use of mixtures are likely to provide the basis for secure adaptation strategies.
- Where other management regimes are used, a wider range of species and genetic material within a species will increase stand resilience in a changing climate.
- Acceptance of natural colonisation of some non-native but naturalised tree species (e.g. beech) in woodlands may be a valid adaptation strategy, but this must be reviewed where conservation is a major objective.
- Contingency plans need to provide an adequate response to the potential increase in occurrence of catastrophic wind damage, fire, and pest or disease outbreaks.