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Individual Highlight

The Douglas-fir Seed-Source Movement Trial Sheds Light on Responses of Adaptive Traits to Changing Climates

Photo of A researcher collects a twig sample from a Douglas-fir tree growing in one of the garden sites in the Douglas-fir Seed-Source Movement Trial. Brad St. Clair, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.A researcher collects a twig sample from a Douglas-fir tree growing in one of the garden sites in the Douglas-fir Seed-Source Movement Trial. Brad St. Clair, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : This multi-site Forest Service study, encompassing a range of climate and soil conditions, is providing some very specific results on tree growth, survival, and diseases as well as responses in many physiological variables. Land managers in the Pacific Northwest are interested in the early results from this study.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Harrington, ConnieSt. Clair, Brad
Research Location : Oregon, Washington
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 981

Summary

The Douglas-fir Seed-Source Movement Trial, initiated in 2009 across multiple sites in Oregon and Washington, is now yielding important results. Measurements of some variables, such as cold hardiness, follow the same pattern across sites, giving scientists confidence in predicting future responses in populations of Douglas-fir and in developing seed-transfer guidelines. But the presence of less-consistent results across sites for other variables, such as drought hardiness, show the value of having multiple sites across a range of climate and soil conditions. Responses of needle cast diseases also demonstrate a strong relationship with seed-source environment. Moving sources from dry environments to ones which are substantially wetter increases the risk of symptoms associated with needle casts.

Many land managers have begun discussing potential future changes in plant responses with climate change and are discussing study results with upper management or advisory boards.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region
  • Cascade Timber Consulting
  • Giustina Land and Timber
  • Hancock Forest Resources
  • Lone Rock
  • Port Blakely Tree Farms
  • Roseburg Resources
  • Starker Forests
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Mangement
  • Washington Department of Natural Resources