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The following technical research papers were developed by the Alberta Tree Improvement and Seed Centre (ATISC) to share research information about major trees in Alberta.
Optimal tree growth
These documents focus on provenance and progeny research for Alberta conifers, and are intended for educational institutions, foresters and tree breeders.
- Patterns of Optimal Growth for Lodgepole Pine Provenances in Alberta (Nov 2010)
A report on the genetics and growth potential of lodgepole pine in Alberta.
- Patterns of Optimal Growth for White Spruce Provenances in Alberta (Nov 2011)
A report on the genetics and growth potential of white spruce in Alberta.
- Seed Transfer of Woody Shrubs in Alberta -- Are Current Seed Zones Applicable? (Nov 2013)
A report on the need for a seed zone map specifically adapted to shrub species.
Climate change adaptation
Climate change presents significant risks as well as opportunities to the health and productivity of forests and sustainability of the forestry industry in Alberta. In parts of Alberta where climate change is projected to cause drought stress, forests will experience higher seedling mortality at the stand establishment stage, lower annual growth, and overall decline in fibre production than in the current climate.
Areas that currently have high precipitation but low heat and short growing seasons, a warmer climate presents an opportunity for extending the growing season and increasing fibre production if soil conditions support it. Through choice and use of tree seed, we can manage the risk and take advantage of the opportunities climate change poses.
Alberta has many conifer genetics field experiments that were established beginning in the early 1980s to support development of guidelines for seed transfer when undertaking reforestation on public land. Some of these experiments are linked to tree breeding programs that produce seed for reforestation on public land in specific areas of the province. Because these experiments are replicated on many sites across Alberta and differ in their temperature and precipitation, they indirectly simulate tree response to climate change.
By analyzing data from these experiments, we can assess the potential impact of climate change and mitigate the risks or take advantage of opportunities climate change poses by developing appropriate seed transfer guidelines.
Tree Species Adaptation Risk Management project
The documents below are reports from the Tree Species Adaptation Risk Management project. This project was funded by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) and the Alberta government. The project involved climate modelling, analysis of data from existing government and forest company field experiments and climate change risk assessment for tree breeding regions.
While the Alberta government, University of Alberta and forest companies provided the data and coordinated implementation of the project, the interpretation of the results and conclusions are a sole responsibility of the document authors. Contents of these reports have been published these 2 journal articles:
- Climate change risk management in tree improvement programs: selection and movement of genotypes
- Developing management strategies for tree improvement programs under climate under climate change: Insights gained from long-term field trials with lodgepole pine
- Highlights for the Tree Species Adaptation Risk Management Project (Feb 2013)
- Climate change adaptation for white spruce and lodgepole pine (Jun 2015)
- Climate change modelling for Alberta tree breeding regions (Jun 2015)
- Tree Species Adaptation Risk Management Project report: Executive Summary (Jul 2015)
- Tree Species Adaptation Risk Management Project: Linkage to Policy (Mar 2015)