Assisted Migration Adaptation Trial

Approximately 240 million seedlings are planted in British Columbia each year. When those trees are harvested 60 to 80 years after they are planted, the climate could be 3 or 4 degrees warmer than when the seedlings were planted, exposing the trees to maladaptation and health risks.

Consequently, government researchers have initiated a large, long-term climate change research study: the Assisted Migration Adaptation Trial (AMAT). The AMAT helps forest managers understand tree species’ climate tolerances so they can select seedlots best adapted to current and future climates.

AMAT Test Site and Seed Source Locations as of December 2013

Design

Seeds from 15 species growing in B.C. and neighbouring American states were planted between 2009 and 2012 at 48 reforestation sites from northern California to southern Yukon.

The growth and health of the seedlings will be monitored and related to the climate of the plantations, enabling researchers to identify the seed sources most likely to be best adapted to current and future climates. The information will be used to revise B.C.’s species and seed source selection guidelines, helping to ensure maximum health and productivity of planted forests well into the future.

Tree seedling identification - Click to zoom

Species ID Common Name Latin Name
Bl sub-alpine fir Abies lasiocarpa
Ba amabilis fir Abies amabilis
Bg grand fir Abies grandis
Cw western redcedar Thuja plicata
Cy yellow cedar Callitropsis nootkatensis
Hw western hemlock Tsuga heterophylla
At trembling aspen Populus tremuloides
Ep paper birch Betula papyrifera
Ss Sitka spruce Picea sitchensis
Sx interior spruce Picea glauca X P. engelmannii
Lw western larch Larix occidentalis
Fd Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii
Pli lodgepole pine  Pinus contorta
Pw white pine Pinus monticola
Py ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa

AMAT & Assisted Migration Resources

Articles, reports and news media resources are available for those who wish to learn more about the AMAT and assisted migration in general.

Collaborators

  • Alberta Environment & Parks
  • Ardew Wood Products
  • ATCO Wood Products
  • BC Timber Sales
  • Brinkman Forest Ltd.
  • Canoe Forest Products
  • City of Cranbrook
  • Gorman Brothers
  • GRO TRZ
  • Inland Empire Paper Company
  • Inland Empire Tree Improvement Coop
  • Island Timberlands
  • Landmark Solutions 
  • Louisiana Pacific Canada
  • Revelstoke Community Forest Corp.
  • Sierra-Pacific Industries
  • State of Alaska DNR, Dept. of Forestry
  • Stella-Jones Inc.
  • Tembec Inc.
  • Tolko Industries
  • UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest
  • UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest
  • University of Washington
  • USDA FS - Deschutes National Forest
  • USDA FS - Gifford Pinchot Nat. Forest/PNW Res. Stn.
  • USDA FS - Mendocino National Forest
  • USDA FS - Priest River Exp. Forest/RM Res. Stn.
  • USDA FS - Tahoe National Forest
  • West Fraser Timber Company
  • Western Forest Products
  • Weyerhaeuser Canada & USA
  • Yukon Department of Energy, Mines & Resources