Beyond Kyoto: Forest Management in a Time of Rapid Climate Change

Policies to reduce global warming by offering credits for carbon sequestration have neglected the effects of forest management on biodiversity. I review properties of forest ecosystems and management options for enhancing the resistance and resilience of forests to climate change. Although forests, as a class, have proved resilient to past changes in climate, today’s fragmented and degraded forests are more vulnerable. Adaptation of species to climate change can occur through phenotypic plasticity, evolution, or migration to suitable sites, with the latter probably the most common response in the past.