The goal of this project was to create tools to perform cost-benefit analyses which demonstrate the economic benefits of the long-term sustained funding required to create an adequate knowledge base for climate-based seed transfer (CBST).
This project examined the cost-benefit of assisted migration, in which regeneration strategies are altered to plant trees better suited to survive in the future, as climates warm and trees are no longer synchronized with the climate in which they evolved. Genomics are expected to help inform those traits that will better equip trees to survive those aspects of future climate (frost hardiness, drought tolerance, pest and disease resistance) that will have negative impacts on tree growth and survival.
The team analyzed how assisted migration might work and to what extent there may be barriers and/or disincentives preventing uptake of such regeneration strategies. Where such barriers existed, the causes were examined and what may be required to overcome them was explored. This was done as part of a broader project looking at economic instruments to facilitate adaptation in forestry.
This project allows for the assessment of the economic return of the genomics and genecology research required to support CBST in the context of substantial uncertainty about timber markets, timber supply and climate change impacts. This information is important to demonstrating the rationale for sustained funding of this research from government and industry.