The Forest Gene Conservation Association (FGCA) works with practitioners in forest restoration, afforestation and conservation, to provide guidance and decision management tools to help create resilient forests under our changing climate.
The following Case Studies are examples of the work we have completed to date.
Essex Region Climate Change Toolbox
As part of the Essex Region Conservation Authority’s (ERCA) strategy to create climate-ready restoration programs, the FGCA undertook a project to develop a Climate Change Toolbox. The objective of the project was to develop a source of information for the local forester and restoration team, to use when developing climate change-ready management and tree planting plans. It was critical that forest genetic resource management principles be the foundation enhancing diversity of species and local populations for greater adaptation capabilities.
The FGCA provided ERCA with information and direction on seed planning (sourcing and US partnerships), species selection under changing climatic conditions and given known species vulnerabilities, resources for additional readings and references, recommendations for the establishment of seed production areas as future seed sources etc.
Nipissing Forest Management
This project funded by Forestry Futures Trust (FFT) was initiated by the FGCA and Central Ontario Sustainable Forest License Holder Nipissing Forest Resource Management Inc. (NFRM) to address climate change objectives in their 2019-2029 Forest Management Plan. The objective was to provide them with direction on how to achieve their target of obtaining and planting 10% climate appropriate seed to result in 600 ha of ‘climate ready’ forests by 2029.
This project led to a thorough review of the current supply of seed, NFRMs current seed inventory as well as the need for high quality sources, data management, and standards development. The project provided FGCA staff and NFRM staff with an opportunity to develop greater awareness of the capacity of seed collection programs, seed processing and storage facilities, improvements in quality and chain of custody. The FGCA looks forward to seeing how NFRM is able to use and learn from this analysis in their region.
Forests Ontario- City of Toronto Tree Seed Diversity Procurement Guidance
The FGCA was approached by our partner Forests Ontario (FO), looking for seed procurement advice for the City of Toronto’s Tree Seed Diversity program. The small-scale analysis was in support of Forests Ontario’s objective to ensure that the seed procurement program incorporated climate change adaptation. The FGCA took action to provide FO with guidance on seed sourcing for greater adaptation success under the various climate models. This information helped to form the foundation for seed collection capacity building for the City’s program.
FGCA utilized its experience and knowledge in applying climate models and species specific trait knowledge to determine suitable regions and species for sourcing tree seed. We also combined our Seed Collection Areas Network information to identify seed collection sites that would help meet the seed needs for the City of Toronto.
For more information about this program contact Forests Ontario. (City of Toronto Program pg. 55).
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry- Seed Transfer Policy
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) released the Ontario Tree Seed Transfer Policy in 2020 to ensure that seed used to regenerate forests has a good chance of producing trees that are adapted to their local and future growing environment. In addition to the policy, the MNRF developed a Seed Transfer Policy- Spatial Direction tool providing practitioners the opportunity to use climate models to inform seed procurement and deployment decisions.
For a greater understanding of this tool and how it applies to your region or forests, contact the FGCA.
Resources & Tools
- Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources
- Synoposis of Ontario Government’s forest research including climate change
- FGCA Assisted-Migration
- OFRI impact of climate change on Ontario’s forests
- Adaptation Work Book
- Sign up for the Forestry Adaptation Community of Practice for webinars, research papers and news
- Natural Resources Canada – Forest Change Adaptation
- Natural Resources Canada Forest Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Drought and Migration Failure of 22 Canadian tree species
- MNRF Seed Transfer Tool
- US Seedlot Selection Tool
- Plant Hardiness