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Home Resources Climate Change / Assisted Migration Assisted Migration - A Primer for Reforestation and Restoration Decision Makers The Role of Assisted Migration in Climate Adaptation Planning: When and Where to Employ it

The Role of Assisted Migration in Climate Adaptation Planning: When and Where to Employ it

Constance Millar, Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Albany, CA

As background to addressing the questions of "When and where to em¬ploy assisted migration?" I briefly review the ways in which species have moved in response to historic climate change. I review lessons learned from natural climate responses for implications to concepts of native range, neo-native distributions, community resilience, novel climates and non-analog associations, "red queen" responses, the role of climatic refugia in maintenance of diversity, and pace of change following disturbance. With this background, I turn to issues regarding decision—making for assisted migration: when and where to employ it in the face of contemporary climate change. Effects to weight include invasiveness, genetic contamination, allelo-chemical and soil-nutrient alterations, penology, community interactions and species displacement, and influences on disturbance regimes. I review these considerations relative to the four fundamental options for climate adaptation planning: resistance, resilience, response, and realignment (restoration), and provide illustrative examples for each. In conclusion I comment on policy and regulatory opportunities and constraints relative to implementing assisted migration.


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