Assisted Migration Adaptation Trial

Last updated on May 8, 2024

The Assisted Migration Adaptation Trial (AMAT) helps forest managers understand tree species’ climate tolerances so they can select seedlots best adapted to current and future climates.

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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.

To help manage this risk, government researchers have initiated a large, long-term climate change research study: the Assisted Migration Adaptation Trial (AMAT). The AMAT tests tree species’ climate tolerances so forest managers can select seedlots adapted for anticipated climate changes.

At right is a map of AMAT test site and seed source locations. Click to enlarge.

Assisted Migration Adaptation Trial from 2013 showing test sites and seed sources.


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.

Photograph of 15 species of tree seedlings laid out on a table.Photograph of the 15 species. Click to enlarge.

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.


  • Alberta Environment & Parks
  • Ardew Wood Products
  • ATCO Wood Products
  • BC Timber Sales
  • Brinkman Forest Ltd.
  • Canoe Forest Products
  • City of Cranbrook
  • Gorman Brothers
  • 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
Tree Seedlings
Seedlings for the AMAT

Seedlings for the AMAT are labelled, sorted, lifted, bundled and cold stored prior to planting.

Contact information

Contact the forest genetics research program