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​Impacts on productivity

Due to enhanced CO2 Radiata pine productivity is expected to increase in 99% of all plantations by:

  1. an average of 19% in 2040
  2. an average of 37% in 2090

Climate change is expected to affect other drivers of productivity within the forest ecosystem. The risks are:

  • physical (abiotic) risks from wind and fire
  • biological (biotic) risks of the competitive impacts of weeds
  • storm events impact on land through erosion
  • the destructive impacts of pests and disease.


About the video: 

The boreal forest, which stretches across northern latitudes just south of the Arctic Circle, is a key region for studying climate change—and not just the impacts. Follow ecologists into Alaska's boreal forest to learn more in this new Science Bulletins video.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Each Bulletin is produced by AMNHs curatorial and scientific staff and a team of video producers, designers, writers, and educators using state-of-the-art technologies such as high-definition video, data visualization, and 3-D computer graphics to present the latest research.


​Key Messages

Forest companies already manage the same risks over a long planning horizon through adaptive risk management; climate change is expected to exacerbate existing risks  

Forestry has a different impact profile and planning horizon to the other land-based sectors, given its relatively slow biological response rate and long harvest cycle.

The most certain direct impact of climate change is increased yield of radiata pine in many plantations

Under climate change, forestry also faces less predictable – but expected – increases in risk from indirect impacts, pests and diseases, fire and extreme storms, which may reduce productivity and compromise wood quality.

Foresters have a range of tactical management options – such as silviculture and site and species selection – or interventions, like spraying and ongoing monitoring. Once production forests are established, options and   opportunities for adaptation to site-specific impacts are reduced.

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