Blog Archive

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Climate, Trees, and Legacy: 01 - Introduction; by scientist Connie Barlow

Published on January 4, 2014

Connie Barlow introduces in January 2014 a learning and action series for helping trees adapt to climate change — species by species, decade by decade. Citizen naturalists are invited to research a favorite native tree species and begin to work with others to keep up with the northward movement of forest zones by planting and monitoring small numbers of wild seeds of common species onto private forested lands well north of where those seeds were collected.

This "assisted migration" in a time of unprecedented climate shift will be increasingly necessary in the decades ahead. Foresters can create the maps to show us where species will need to move to. But we citizen naturalists will play a complementary role in ensuring that the full diversity of genotypes keeps pace with a warming and drying continent.

Importantly, human action will mimic what birds, rodents, and other native seed dispersers have been able to accomplish on their own in previous periods of Earth history, when warming occurred at a slower, more natural pace.

Note: Three tree paintings by Illinois artist Mary Southard are included, as are several still shots from the 20th-century classic animated short film, "The Man Who Planted Trees."

The series host, Connie Barlow, is the founder of the citizen activist group Torreya Guardians. She is the author of "The Ghosts of Evolution."

Learn more about assisted migration: (2-min video): and annotated list of articles:

Learn more about the work of Torreya Guardians: (75-min video): and website:

Learn more about "The Ghosts of Evolution" (5-min music video):

Click blue timecodes to advance to TOPICS in this video:

00:01 Climate adaptation as well as mitigation

02:30 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act in 2014

03:23 Reservation, Restoration, Resilience, and Reconciliation Ecology


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