If global warming materializes as projected, natural or artificial regeneration of forests with local seed sources will become increasingly difficult. However, global warming is far from a certainty and predictions of its magnitude and timing vary at least twofold, In the face of such uncertainty, reforestation strategies should emphasize conservation, diversification, and broader deployment of species, seed sources, and families. Planting programs may have to deploy non-local seed sources, imported from further south or from lower elevations, which necessitates a system for conserving native gene pools in seed banks or clone banks. Planting a diverse array of species or seed sources is a hedge against the uncertainty inherent in current projections of warming. Most tree improvement programs already stress genetic diversity and deployment of multi-progeny mixes, but may better prepare for climate change by testing selections in an even wider set of environments than is now the case.
Ledig, F. Thomas; Kitzmiller, J.H. 1992. Genetic strategies for reforestation in the face of global climate change. Forest Ecology and Management 50:153-169