Trees are long-living and slow-growing species that cannot rapidly adapt to large environmental changes. Trees planted today need to be able to thrive in the full range of conditions they will confront in their lifetimes – in some cases over 100 years. As climates are predicted to change rapidly many trees planted now may be poorly adapted to the future.
A new forest management strategy in the UK based on climate matching is currently being suggested to help increase the resilience of our forests.
The following pages present a summary of the experimental design of the provenance trial at Hucking Estate:
The experiment aims to address the following questions:
- Considering the 2050 and 2080 climate change scenarios, which planting stock is recommended for woodland establishment in the southeast of Britain?
- As climate change is likely to be an unpredictable process, a mixed-provenance approach may be less risky than planting a single provenance. What is the recommended planting ratio of local compared with non-local provenances to achieve maximum survival and growth rates of a given tree species?
- What is the influence of mixing local and non-local provenances on stand structure and the relative performance of provenance material?
- What is the influence of non-native provenance material on biological diversity? (For example; mycorrhiza or insects, and the incidence of pests and diseases).
- What is the influence of planting mixtures of tree species on the planting success? (For example; relative survival and growth, of native and non-native provenance material).