Climate Change

Bur Oak at Grand Oaks on Grand Lake, Halifax Co., Nova Scotia. It occurs naturally in N.B. and elsewhere on the eastern seaboard, why not in N.S? Should we introduce this and other oaks species to anticipate climatic warming?

Bur Oak grown horticulturally at Grand Oaks on Grand Lake, Halifax Co., Nova Scotia. It occurs naturally in N.B. and elsewhere on the eastern seaboard, why not in N.S? There are a dozen species of oak in Massachussetts, while there is only one species (red oak) native to NS.

Modelled Potential Species Distribution for Current and Projected Future Climates for the Acadian Forest Region of Nova Scotia, Canada
By C.P.A Bourque et al. 2010. Report to NSDNR. “…results for current and future climates indicate that boreal species in the Acadian forest of NS (e.g., balsam fir, black spruce) would be restricted to the cooler areas of the landscape, i.e., adjacent to cold water bodies (e.g., Bay of Fundy in the northwest and Atlantic Ocean on the south-to-northeast of the province) and high elevation areas, such as the Cape Breton Highlands and Cobequid Hills. Under similar climatic conditions, temperate hardwood species (e.g., red oak, beech) are projected to benefit from elevated GDD in the second (2011-2040) and third tri-decade (2041-2070), and experience some decline in the fourth tri-decade (2071- 2100). The report does not examine the impact of tree species currently south of NS as they move northward and begin to interact with tree species in the Acadian forest region of NS with climate warming.”

Should we introduce bur oak (in photo) and other species to Nova Scotia (i.e. conduct “Assisted Migration”) in order to accelerate adaptation to climatic warming? Currently the NS Government encourages practices that borealise the Acadian forest (i.e., clear cutting, use of herbicides to promote even age softwoods), which reduces adaptation to climatic warming.

Silvicultural Discipline to Maintain Acadian Forest Resilience
Peter Salonius 2007. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 24(2): 91- 97.
ABSTRACT: Clearcut harvesting decreases structural complexity, eliminates old and genetically superior legacy trees, extirpates mature-forest floor vegetation, and creates hot and dry postharvest microclimates. The short-lived, exposure-tolerant, boreal tree species that regenerate in large forest openings are believed to be less able, than the late-successional Acadian species they replace, to adapt to the climate warming expected during the next forest rotation. A strip silviculture design is presented that includes limited canopy opening, “no-traffic” areas, maintenance of “full-cycle” survivors, and programmed return harvest intervals that approximate natural gap disturbance as a means of arresting the further increase of boreal species and restoring Acadian species on the landscape. Within the confines of this silvicultural discipline, two management options are described to accommodate extremes of future energy availability.

Exploring adaptation to climate change in the forests of central Nova Scotia, Canada
James W.N. Steenberg et al. 2011 Forest Ecology and Management Volume 262, Issue 12, 15 December 2011, Pages 2316–2327. VIEW ABSTRACT

Climate‐change vulnerability assessment for selected species in three national parks in eastern Canada
Takafumi Osawa, MES thesis, Dalhousie University 2015 “Canadian protected areas have been established with a premise of static distributionsof different ecosystems, an assumption invalidated by climate change. In the Maritimes, there are few local case studies on how to consider and manage protected areas with potentially vulnerable ecosystems. Assuming two climate-change scenarios in the 2080s, we conducted climate-change vulnerability assessments (CCVAs) for a range of species in three national parks as case studies in the face of climate change. Specifically, we had two main goals: (1) to conduct CCVAs, including NatureServe’s climate change
vulnerability index, for terrestrial species in these areas, and (2) to explore adaptation
opportunities. Our study then identified some of the most vulnerable species (e.g.,
American marten and brook trout) but also species that are adaptable to climate change.
Identification of species’ vulnerability to a changing climate is the first step in trying to
identify potential adaptation opportunities for these species.