The challenges of climate change require us to ensure forests have the resilience to deal with future changes to climate, and reflect the uncertainty associated with climate projections.
Planting a variety of species, either in mixtures or in pure stands, can enhance the resilience of forests and woodlands to projected climate change. For productive forests, a broader range of timber species than have typically been planted in the past may therefore warrant consideration. For native woodlands, augmenting the current range of species with others associated with the woodland type will often help meet biodiversity objectives in addition to increasing the resilience of woods.
Genetic diversity, in addition to species diversity, is important in the context of climate change.
Evidence suggests that most populations of trees in semi-natural woodlands contain high levels of genetic diversity. Linking and expanding native woods using natural regeneration as part of a habitat network, or planting with well-adapted stock, will increase gene flows and strengthen the capacity of tree populations to adapt.
Selection tools and guidance
- Tree species, useful now and in the future
- Ecological site classification tool for species selection
- Suitable trees for London and other urban areas
- Species and genetic diversity - England
- Species choice for a changing environment - England
- Seed sources for native trees and shrubs - Scotland
- Presentation - alternative conifer species - Scotland
- Increasing Species Diversity - Wales