New Forests

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 209–222 | Cite as

A framework for testing radiata pine under projected climate change in Australia and New Zealand

  • Miloš Ivković
  • Andreas Hamann
  • Washington J. Gapare
  • Tom Jovanovic
  • Alvin Yanchuk


Radiata pine plantation resources in Australia and New Zealand are a highly productive source of solid-wood and pulp products for domestic consumption and export. This has largely been achieved through long-term investments in tree breeding programs that select the best-performing genotypes for varied regional environments. However, climate change could threaten the realisation of genetic improvement in plantations due to suboptimal matching of improved planting stock to new climate conditions. Here, we investigate how information from genetic field tests could be utilised under anticipated climate change. We use principal component analysis and Mahalanobis distance measures to find the closest match between climate of plantation regions in the future and current climate of field test sites. By 2050, future climates of some important plantation regions are expected to match climates currently present in different regions. For example, future climates of Green Triangle, a key plantation region in Australia, will better match current climate of Western Australia. The Central North Island of New Zealand will shift to warmer and wetter climate with no current analogue, and Western Australia, to warmer and drier no-analogue climate. The latter is also likely to fall outside the climate niche where radiata pine can be grown in the future. Nevertheless, for the majority of radiata pine plantation regions in Australia and New Zealand our analysis provides a framework of how anticipated climate change can be addressed in tree improvement programs using existing field tests.


Pinus radiata Climate change Plantation forestry Tree breeding Adaptation strategies Australia New Zealand 



We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA PNC246-1112), Radiata Pine Breeding Company (RPBC) and Southern Tree Breeding Association (STBA) to CSIRO. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Grant #RGPIN 330527 enabled Andreas Hamann to participate in this research. The collaboration was carried out under the auspices of a Sir Frederick McMasters Fellowship to Andreas Haman and CSIRO. We also thank Peter Buxton of STBA and Paul Jefferson of RPBC for field test data, and Andrew Dunningham of SCION for lending us his GIS expertise.

Supplementary material

11056_2015_9510_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (975 kb)
Description of regional climates in Australia and New Zealand. Walter and Lieth (1967) climate diagrams of radiata pine plantations in Australia and New zealand. The plots report region and the 10th to 90th percentile of the elevation range of plantations in the title. Below the title, mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP) are reported. Mean maximum temperature of the warmest month (MaxTWM) and mean minimum temperature of the coldest month (MinTCM) are shown next to the y-axis. (PDF 974 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miloš Ivković
    • 1
  • Andreas Hamann
    • 2
  • Washington J. Gapare
    • 1
  • Tom Jovanovic
    • 1
  • Alvin Yanchuk
    • 3
  1. 1.AgricultureCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)CanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Renewable ResourcesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute Ltd)RotoruaNew Zealand

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