Silviculture and the assessment of climate change genetic risk for southern Appalachian forest tree speciesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Changing climate conditions and increasing insect and pathogen infestations will increase the likelihood that forest trees could experience population-level extirpation or species-level extinction during the next century. Gene conservation and silvicultural efforts to preserve forest tree genetic diversity present a particular challenge in species-rich regions such as the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Funds, however, will be limited for silvicultural management and gene conservation efforts to preserve forest tree genetic diversity. To facilitate the effective use of limited resources and to guide silvicultural activities, we developed the Forest Tree Genetic Risk Assessment System as a framework for users to rank the relative risk of genetic degradation for multiple forest tree species, and applied this framework for the Southern Appalachians.