Forward-Looking Forest Restoration Under Climate Change—Are U.S. Nurseries Ready?

Authors

  • Therese L. Tepe,

    1. School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, U.S.A.
    2. Present address: 21178 St. Mary's Road., Batesville, IN 47006, U.S.A.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Vicky J. Meretsky

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, U.S.A.
    Search for more papers by this author

V. J. Meretsky, email meretsky@indiana.edu

Abstract

The pace of climate change suggests that restoration efforts once focused on past conditions should become more forward-looking. Suggestions for such restoration emphasize the use of a suite of species adapted to a range of possible future climates. In forest restoration, opportunities for forward-looking restoration may be limited by the availability of suitable stock from state and commercial nurseries. Presently, most state nurseries have stock potentially suited to warmer climates than currently exist in their states. However, these nurseries are generally not actively incorporating information about climate change into their stocking choices and some see clear obstacles to providing such stock, particularly uncertainty about the future climate, and the existence of seed zones and other policies designed to protect locally adapted species genetics. As restoration ecologists adapt their methods to incorporate climate change, state nurseries should be involved in those discussions and may be important partners in outreach.

Ancillary