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Megan deGraaf Guest Post- Fundy Biosphere Reserve Climate Change Adaptation

by Community Forests International on July 12, 2013

The Fundy Biosphere Reserve (FBR) has recently launched a new and innovative project to research and mitigate the effects of climate change on forest communities in southeastern New Brunswick. We hear a lot about how climate change is making growing seasons longer, wetter (or drier, depending on where you live), and hotter. What does this mean for our forests in southern New Brunswick?

The forest type that covers New Brunswick is known as the Acadian forest. It is a unique blend of species of more southern affiliations (e.g. oak, sugar maple, ash) and more northern affiliations (e.g. balsam fir, spruce, birch, poplar). It’s predicted that as the climate warms, those northerly species won’t be able to withstand the growing conditions here, and will die out in this region as their growing ranges push more and more north. That could mean big changes for the forest composition in the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. Figuring out which species will still grow inside the FBR in a hundred years, and which ones will move their ranges north, is the focus of our new project. We’ve partnered with the Mount Allison Dendrochronology (MAD) Lab and CFI to sample old trees at Whaelghinbran Farm, so that the core samples from those trees can be analyzed for insights into the changing growing conditions over the last 60 years. Last week, the MAD Lab and I spent the day with CFI forester Dale Prest sampling Red Oak, White Ash, and Trembling Aspen at Whaelghinbran Farm. We’ll use this information to supplement predictive models available from NRCan, and then we’ll work with other partners to figure out which areas of the FBR should be planted with which climate change-resilient tree species to ensure their survival in this region.

Want to know more about this project or the Fundy Biosphere Reserve? Follow us on Twitter (Fundy Biosphere), our website (fundy-biosphere.ca), and Facebook (Fundy Biosphere Reserve).

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