Which American Forest Tree Species are Most at Risk
A variety of threats, most importantly climate change and insect and disease infestation, will increase the risk that forest tree could experience population-level or species-level extinction. Species, however, differ in important traits such as life-history strategies and population dynamics that could drive widely varying responses to potential threats. Determining how to prioritize species for management and conservation activities in the face of these threats will pose a particular challenge in species-rich regions. To address this challenge, a cooperating scientist with EFETAC has developed a framework that allows managers to assess the relative risk of genetic degradation to forest trees affected by multiple threats.
Known as the Forest Tree Genetic Risk Assessment System (ForGRAS), the framework is being used by the Forest Service Southern and Pacific Northwest Regions to identify species at risk as a step towards developing management plans. ForGRAS is a flexible approach, allowing application at multiple scales and across any area for which data exist on the population dynamics and distribution of the species of interest. ForGRAS information and materials are available at www.forestthreats.org/current-projects/project-summaries/genetic-risk-assessment-system.
Forest Service Partners