, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 507-522
Date: 11 Feb 2014

A generic method for climate change impact analysis of tree species planting domains

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Abstract

A trial application is described, largely using freely available datasets, for the preliminary assessment of climate change impacts on planting domains of key plantation species. The example study examines how climate change may affect locations in parts of South East Asia and southern China suitable for growing Acacia mangium, A. auriculiformis and A. crassicarpa. Simple descriptions of their climatic requirements are checked and, where necessary, refined. Climate data for current conditions as well as projected conditions in 2030, 2050 and 2080 are then used to map areas at a 10 min (about 18 km) resolution that are likely to have suitable climatic conditions for growing the species. Assuming a “business as usual” climate change scenario, climate change impacts are expected to be low in 2030, but likely to become medium by 2050 and high by 2080 as existing plantation sites increasingly fall outside the range of conditions known to be climatically suitable. Assessing likely impacts can help to identify plantations that are potentially most at risk, where performance should be carefully monitored to pick up early signs of any problems. The vulnerability of Acacia plantations of the three target species across the region is considered briefly in terms of the impacts of climate change and the ability of managers to adapt plantations to changing conditions.