United States Department of Agriculture
The Seedlot Selection Tool is a GIS mapping program designed to help forest managers match seedlots with planting sites based on climate information. The tool can be used to map current climates, or future climates based on selected climate change scenarios.
Populations of trees, such as those from native stands or seed orchards, are genetically different from one another, and are adapted to different climatic conditions. Therefore, forest managers must match the climatic adaptability of their seedlots to the climatic conditions of their planting sites. Typically, this has been done using geographically defined seed zones or breeding zones. However, current climate models are now available that can be used to define zones based on climate, rather than geography. These climate models can also be used to calculate climatically based seed transfer distances and define focal point seed zones. Once acceptable climatic transfer limits have been defined using seed zones, breeding zones, or some other approach, the user can explore how within-species assisted migration might be used to help adapt forests to climate change.
To use the tool, the user must first indicate whether they want to find appropriate seedlots for a planting site or appropriate planting sites for a seedlot. After clicking on one of the two buttons at the top of the page, the user will be taken to one of two data entry pages where they will complete steps 2-8 (see figure). Detailed instructions for each step can be found in the Instructions (PDF). The best way to learn about the tool is to try it. Because the fields on the data entry page contain default values, the first-time user can quickly see how the tool works. To see how maps are generated, select the "seedlot" or "planting site" button at the top of the page, and then click on the "Produce Map" button on the data entry page. Experienced users can overwrite the default values, or login and select a set of values that were saved in a previous session.
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