Developing biodiverse plantings suitable for changing climatic conditions 1: Underpinning scientific methods

Authors

  • Trevor H. Booth,

    1. Trevor Booth and Kristen Williams are research scientists with CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences and CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship, at GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia (Email: trevor.booth@csiro.au; kristen.williams@csiro.au). This research was carried out as a strategic project of the ‘Managing Species and Natural Ecosystems’ theme of CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship.
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  • Kristen J. Williams

    1. Trevor Booth and Kristen Williams are research scientists with CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences and CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship, at GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia (Email: trevor.booth@csiro.au; kristen.williams@csiro.au). This research was carried out as a strategic project of the ‘Managing Species and Natural Ecosystems’ theme of CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship.
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Abstract

Summary  Governments across Australia have long been investing in revegetation in an effort to restore biodiversity and, more recently, mitigate climate change. However, no readily available methods have been described to assist project leaders identify species and provenance material likely to be sustainable under the changing climatic conditions of coming decades. Focussing particularly on trees, as trees are important for biosequestration as well as for providing habitat for other native species, Paper 1 of this two part series briefly reviews species distribution models and growth simulation models that could provide the scientific underpinning to improve and refine selection processes. While these previous scientific studies provide useful insights into how trees may respond to climate change, it is concluded that a readily accessible and easy-to-use approach is required to consider the potential adaptability of the many trees, shrubs and ground cover species that may be needed for biodiverse plantings. In Part 2 of this paper, the Atlas of Living Australia is used to provide preliminary information to assist species selection by assessing the climatic range of individual species based on their current distributions and, where available, cultivated locations. While using the Atlas can assist current selections, ways are outlined in Part 2 in which more reliable selections for changing climatic conditions could be made, building on the methods described here.

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