Use of response functions in selecting lodgepole pine populations for future climates


T. Wang, 3041-2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4, e-mail:


Although growth response functions have previously been developed for lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud.) populations in British Columbia, new analyses were conducted: (1) to demonstrate the merit of a new local climate model in genecological analysis; (2) to highlight new methods for deriving response functions; and (3) to evaluate the impacts of management options for existing geographically defined seed planning units (SPUs) for reforestation. Results of this study suggest that new methods for anchoring population response functions, and a multivariate approach for incorporating climate variables into a single model, considerably improve the reliability of these functions. These functions identified a small number of populations in central areas of the species distribution with greater growth potential over a wide range of mean annual temperature (MAT). Average productivity of lodgepole pine is predicted to increase (up to 7%) if moderate warming (∼2°C MAT) occurs in the next few decades as predicted, although productivity would substantially decline in some SPUs in southern BC. Severe global warming (>3°C MAT) would result in either a drastic decline in productivity or local populations being extirpated in southern SPUs. New deployment strategies using the best seed sources for future reforestation may not only be able to mitigate the negative impact of global warming, but may even be able to increase productivity in some areas.