Climate Corner, October 2018: How Can We Promote Climate Resiliency in California Forests?

Twisting, moss-covered trunks of coast live oaks on a fog-drenched hillside
Mt. Tam's oak woodlands were the focus of the latest Science Summit, which highlighted the interrelated effects of climate change and other stressors on the health of these communities.

NPS / Al Greening

Disease. Fire. Changing climates. These emerged as powerful, interrelated forces shaping California forests at One Tam’s most recent Science Summit, "Into the Woods."

But how can we enhance the adaptive strength of natural systems to respond to these formidable challenges?

Many speakers answered that diversity is a critical ingredient of resiliency. Different individuals, strains, and species vary in their response to warmer temperatures and disease. However, in the face of uncertain future climate conditions there is no way of knowing which will respond favorably and which will be unable to cope. So scientists have to think ahead. Genome sequencing, standardized data collection, and collaborative, landscape-level monitoring are all key pieces of the puzzle. Get the full story on the Science Summit here.

Last updated: October 31, 2018