Future Forest Ecosystems Centre
The climate crisis is having profound impacts on B.C.’s ecosystems, affecting our safety, cultures, and livelihoods. The B.C. government has established the Future Forest Ecosystems Centre (FFEC) to forecast ecological disruptions. By anticipating climate impacts, we can improve our response to the changing climate.
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The Future Forest Ecosystems Centre (FFEC) was officially established in fall 2022. It is a scientific team that forecasts climate change impacts on B.C.’s forest ecosystems. The core role of the FFEC is to translate ecological knowledge into data, tools, and guidance to help ecosystem managers account for climate risks. This will support climate change adaptation by reducing disruptions to ecosystem services.
The FFEC’s priorities (PDF, 7.8MB) for the next two years are climate data, ecological forecasting, and building capacity.
Climate data is an essential precursor to accounting for climate risks in ecosystem management. The FFEC aims to provide climate data tailored for ecological analysis.
Goals of FFEC climate data:
- Goal 1: Forecast shifts in British Columbia’s climate types
- Goal 2: Improve the quality and accessibility of high-resolution climate data
Forecasts are essential to decision-making under climate change. Unlike projections (which estimate future conditions based on a specific scenario) and predictions (which provide a “best guess” about future conditions), forecasts estimate the range of possible future conditions. The FFEC aims to provide ecological forecasts that are immediately useful to B.C.’s ecosystem managers.
Goals of FFEC ecological forecasts:
- Goal 3: Develop climate change outlooks for tree species
- Goal 4: Develop landscape models to forecast forest resilience and ecosystem services
The FFEC seeks to support ecological forecasting capacity in other B.C. government agencies. The FFEC also aims to improve the adoption of its products by fostering climatic and ecological literacy across the natural resource ministries and the broader public.
Goals of FFEC capacity building:
- Goal 5: Foster capacity in ecological forecasting across government
- Goal 6: Foster climate and ecological literacy
The work of the FFEC is guided by the principles of Transparency, Policy-neutrality, and Public Service:
- Transparency: The FFEC practices open science by providing free public access to all datasets, source code, and publications
- Policy-neutrality: While FFEC products may be designed to inform policy and planning, the FFEC does not make policy prescriptions
- Public service: The FFEC supports policymakers, planners, ecosystem practitioners, and Indigenous knowledge-holders in the public, private, and academic sectors
Principles of Service to First Nations
Respect for Indigenous knowledge systems and the unique place-based relationship of Indigenous peoples with the ecosystems of B.C. is a guiding principle of the FFEC. The FFEC seeks to support the self-determined climate resilience of First Nations by providing FFEC products as a supplement to Indigenous knowledge.
Mahony, C.R., T. Wang, A. Hamann, A.J. Cannon. 2022. A global climate model ensemble for downscaled monthly climate normals over North America. International Journal of Climatology 42: 5871-5891.
MacKenzie, W.H. and C. R. Mahony. 2021. An ecological approach to climate change-informed tree species selection for reforestation. Forest Ecology and Management 481:118705. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118705
Robert, J. A., & Srivastava, V. (2023, October). Predicting Forest Insect Outbreaks: Insights for Proactive Forest Management. BC Forest Professional Magazine.
Srivastava, V., & Carroll, A. L. (2023). Dynamic distribution modelling using a native invasive species, the mountain pine beetle. Ecological Modelling, 482, 110409.