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Forests 2013, 4(1), 155-178; doi:10.3390/f4010155

Selection of Provenances to Adapt Tropical Pine Forestry to Climate Change on the Basis of Climate Analogs

1,* , 2
1 Centre for Wood Science and Technology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany 2 International Centre of Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia 3 Bioversity International, Americas Office, Cali, Colombia 4 Ghent University, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Gent, Belgium 5 International Tree Breeding and Conservation Program (Camcore), North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 August 2012 / Revised: 20 February 2013 / Accepted: 25 February 2013 / Published: 20 March 2013
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Pinus patula and Pinus tecunumanii play an important role in the forestry sector in the tropics and subtropics and, in recent decades, members of the International Tree Breeding and Conservation Program (Camcore) at North Carolina State University have established large, multi-site provenance trials for these pine species. The data collected in these trials provide valuable information about species and provenance choice for plantation establishment in many regions with different climates. Since climate is changing rapidly, it may become increasingly difficult to choose the right species and provenance to plant. In this study, growth performance of plantings in Colombia, Brazil and South Africa was correlated to the degree of climatic dissimilarity between planting sites. Results are used to assess the suitability of seed material under a changing climate for four P. patula provenances and six P. tecunumanii provenances. For each provenance, climate dissimilarities based on standardized Euclidean distances were calculated and statistically related to growth performances. We evaluated the two methods of quantifying climate dissimilarity with extensive field data based on the goodness of fit and statistical significance of the climate distance relation to differences in height growth. The best method was then used as a predictor of a provenance change in height growth. The provenance-specific models were used to predict provenance performance under different climate change scenarios. The developed provenance-specific models were able to significantly relate climate similarity to different growth performances for five out of six P. tecunumanii provenances. For P. patula provenances, we did not find any correlation. Results point towards the importance of the identification of sites with stable climates where high yields are achievable. In such sites, fast-growing P. tecunumanii provenances with a high but narrow growth optimum can be planted. At sites with climate change of uncertain direction and magnitude, the choice of P. patula provenances, with greater tolerance towards different temperature and precipitation regimes, is recommended. Our results indicate that the analysis of provenance trial data with climate similarity models helps us to (1) maintain plantation productivity in a rapidly changing environment; and (2) improve our understanding of tree species’ adaptation to a changing climate.
Keywords: provenance trials; site quality modelling; management decision support tools; climate similarity; growth prediction provenance trials; site quality modelling; management decision support tools; climate similarity; growth prediction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Leibing, C.; Signer, J.; van Zonneveld, M.; Jarvis, A.; Dvorak, W. Selection of Provenances to Adapt Tropical Pine Forestry to Climate Change on the Basis of Climate Analogs. Forests 2013, 4, 155-178.

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