Greenhouse gases

The New Zealand Climate Change Conference 2013

Date: 
Tue, 04/06/2013 - 08:00 - Wed, 05/06/2013 - 17:00
Venue: 
Palmerston North Convention Centre

 

The New Zealand Climate Change Confernece 2013

 

Mike Beare

Organisation: Plant & Food Research
Position: Science Group Leader

Evaluating the deployment of alternative species in planted conifer forests as a means of adaptation to climate change—case studies in New Zealand and Scotland

Year of publication: 
2013

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13595-013-0300-1

A strategy widely proposed for increasing the resilience of forests against the impacts of projected climate change is to increase the number of species planted to spread and reduce the risks from a range of biotic and abiotic hazards.

Aims
We tested this strategy in two case study areas in planted conifer forests in New Zealand and Scotland.

Methods
The performance of the major tree species and an alternative was compared: radiata pine and Eucalyptus fastigata in New Zealand and Sitka spruce and Scots pine in Scotland. The process-based model 3-PG2S was used to simulate the effects of projected climate change at the end of this century, with and without CO2 fertilisation, upon productivity and financial returns. The effects of an abiotic hazard and two biotic hazards were considered.

Results
Under the current climate, the major species outperform alternatives in nearly all circumstances. However, with climate change, their relative performance alters. In New Zealand, planting of E. fastigata becomes more attractive particularly when various hazards and elevated CO2 concentrations are considered. In Scotland, Scots pine becomes more attractive than Sitka spruce at lower interest rates.

Conclusions
The major plantation species in both countries are well suited to the current climate, but deployment of alternative species and/or breeds can help to adapt these planted forests to the impacts of climate change.

Author: 
Dean F Meason, William L Mason

Chapter 7. Forestry Long-term adaptation of productive forests in a changing climatic environment. In: Impacts of climate change on land-based sectors and adaptation options. MPI Technical Paper No: 2012/33

Year of publication: 
2012

The forestry sector has a different vulnerability profile to many other primary sectors given its slower biological response rate and long harvest cycle. Forestry is a large component of the New Zealand economy and its contribution is expected to significantly increase into the 2020’s as 40% more wood becomes available for
harvest. This chapter examines both direct and indirect impacts of climate change and reviews potential adaptation strategies. There is benefit to the sector, as productivity is projected to increase over the next 80 years under climate scenarios if increasing CO2 concentrations and also given that there are no restrictions to growth from nutrient or precipitation limitations. However, risks increase under climate change for damage from fire, insects, disease and weeds. The adaptation options reviewed break down into managing the risk associated with the current investment in forests and infrastructure. Then, more strategic and transformational options are considered, that focus on the requirement for building resilience in future forests by examining the location, species, products and management, as well as regimes that are required for forestry within a potentially more variable and changing climate. The industry currently uses sophisticated adaptive risk management tools and practises managing risk, and careful consideration is given to how this approach can be adjusted to implement climate change adaptation over the coming wood harvest time frames. Forestry faces challenges compared to other primary sectors – such as, the uncertain impact of increasing CO2 levels on forest productivity. To develop adaptation strategies for crops developed over the order of 30 years, forestry will be faced with the need to make large-scale investment decisions based on very uncertain long-term outcomes. Putting these adaptation approaches into a financial risk management model would be a logical next stage for the sector as it considers how it will develop and implement any adaptation strategies

Author: 
Andrew Dunningham, Miko Kirschbaum, Tim Payn, Dean Francis Meason

Steve Thomas

Organisation: Plant & Food Research
Position: Scientist

Brent Clothier

Organisation: Plant & Food Research
Position: Science Group Leader

Mike Harvey

Organisation: NIWA
Position: Principal Scientist

David Pacheco

Organisation: AgResearch
Position: Science Group Leader

Robyn Dynes

Organisation: AgResearch
Position: Senior Scientist/Science Impact Leader

Johannes Laubach

Organisation: Landcare Research
Position: Scientist