Dragão Porto On Climate Change Tree Test
07/03/2012

Dragão Porto was recently pleased to hear that European forestry scientists have begun a multi-national field trial to identify trees that will thrive, as predicted climate change develops.

Online PR News – 03-July-2012 – Maia, Porto – Dragão Porto was recently pleased to hear that European forestry scientists have begun a multi-national field trial to identify trees that will thrive, as predicted climate change develops. Thousands of trees are being planted in test plots from Portugal in the south to Scotland in the north. The trees will be measured and monitored as they grow in the diverse environments. The results are likely to have a marked impact on which species of trees are planted in the coming decades.

“Climate change is a big issue,” said a source at Dragão Porto, “It’s also a current issue, not something in the future. It’s happening now. If this research can help us get closer to understanding how our trees will survive, then it’s very important.”

Scientists here - and across Europe - know that climate change is likely to have a big impact on how well trees survive and thrive in the future, and how resistant they may be to a new wave of disease which the predicted warmer conditions may bring. As the trees are being planted, they are measured and assessed. This is the base level data against which their future growth and health will be compared. Measurements will continue for decades to come.

“It’s a project set on a long timescale,” said our source at Dragão Porto, “We might not see the benefits now, because we have to wait until the trees mature. However the information will be invaluable in 50 years time.”

In England, there are research plots in the Crowthorn Forest and the Westonbirt Arboretum. Chris Jones of the Forestry Commission in Wales is overseeing this site. He said: "This is one of the biggest trials we've done in forest research. The kind of information we're getting out of it is going to inform the policy makers and the foresters of the future about the species that they will be able to use.”

The data collected could establish for example whether oak trees from southern Europe may become a viable alternative should our native oaks fail. It should also dictate the best commercial trees for the changing conditions.

“The project is across twelve nations, so there’s a lot of cooperation between countries and scientific institutions,” said our source at Dragão Porto, “In future the information will benefit the whole world.”

www.bbc.co.uk

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