Climate-Based Seed Transfer (CBST) Project

The Climate-Based Seed Transfer (CBST) project resides within Component 1 – Resilience, one of three components of the broader Climate-Based Genetic Resource Management initiative led by the Tree Improvement Branch, and the strategic plan and vision championed and led by the Forest Genetics Council of British Columbia.

Climate-based seed transfer is also an action identified under the Forest Stewardship Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation (2012 to 2017). The Forest Genetics Council of British Columbia is the Climate-Based Seed Transfer project champion.

Project Description

The Climate-Based Seed Transfer project is made up of four phases:

Phase One: Science Foundation

Phase 1 will evaluate a number of scientific methodologies, statistical and theoretical approaches and options for developing a science-based framework. The framework will support seed selection, transfer and deployment decisions that impact management of forest tree genetic adaptation across B.C.’s managed stands and landscapes under a changing climate. Phase 1 outputs will include recommendations and options for guiding and informing subsequent phases to transition from the current geographically-based seed transfer system to one that is climate-based.

Phase Two: Policy Development

Phase 2 will develop the regulatory and policy framework required to incorporate climate-based seed transfer in forest regeneration, genetic resource management (GRM) and seed use (transfer) decision-making and climate change adaptation strategies such as assisted migration. A cost/benefit, impact and risk assessment (for example, tree improvement, seed use/seed inventories) and a consultation process will also be part of this phase.

Phase Three: Implementation

Phase 3 will develop the decision support framework to guide implementation of the climate-based seed transfer system. A range of options to suit the needs of B.C.’s genetic resource management/seed use clients will be explored, including both incremental (for example, species or regionally-based pilots) and transformative approaches. Transition planning will be critical, with particular attention to supporting strategies and plans to mitigate impacts to tree improvement, orchard, seed and silviculture investments. Phase 3 outputs will include the development of corporate information management systems, GIS-based toolsets, map products and data sets (spatial, aspatial).

Phase Four: Monitoring and Revision

Phase 4 will develop indicators, measures and protocols for monitoring effectiveness, performance and outcomes to inform the development of new and/or revised actions for continuous improvement and adaptive management.

NOTE: Project level decision support; and extension, training and communication services, will be provided, as needed, throughout all four phases of the project.