Assisted Migration Adaptation Trial
Approximately 275 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.
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.
|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|
|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.
The Assisted Migration Adaptation Trial has been a subject of interest for various media outlets.
- CBC Radio West: Studying Trees & Climate Change
- National Geographic: Future Forests (PDF, 1MB)
- Revelstoke Times: Climate change spurring new forestry practices
- Canadian Geographic: B.C.’s forestry future
- Associated Press: As Earth warms, move species to save them?
- CBC The National: Changing Climate, Changing Trees
- The Walrus: Run, Forest, Run - Helping trees flee climate change
- Nature.com: Planting the forest of the future
- Discover Magazine: The Transplanted Forest
- The Forestry Source: Assisted Migration - Growing Forests Adapted to the Future
- BC Forest Professional: Adapting to Adaptation (PDF)
- Anthropocene Magazine: How to Plant the Forests of the Future
- Mother Jones: Can We Move Our Forests in Time to Save Them?