Limits of climate change adaptation in forest trees

In the context of climate change, an article has just been published by the researchers of the Chair on the maladaptation of trees in the face of severe climatic stress caused by the growing climate instability. Spring 2021 was exceptionally warm and early under our northern latitudes, leading to an early shoot bud burst up to two weeks earlier than usual. However, at the end of May 2021, the Quebec province was hit by a major cold snap caused by the instability of the polar vortex, which resulted in severe frost damages to the annual growing shoots in young white spruce plantations, and the cancellation of the growth of 2021. The study of young comparative plantations of various seed sources indicated that there was no significant genetic variation in resistance to such severe late frosts. The researchers will follow growth recovery in 2022 to check if significant genetic variation exists and if it is related to previous tree vigor. Link to the complete publication here.