Author Archives: kbroadli

Assisted Migration

What It Means to Nursery Managers and Tree Planters

Mary I. Williams and R. Kasten Dumroese Postdoctoral Research Associate, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, stationed at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Moscow, ID; Research Plant Physiologist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Moscow, ID


Projections indicate that natural plant adaptation and migration may not keep pace with climate changes. This mismatch in rates will pose significant challenges for practitioners that select, grow, and outplant native tree species. Populations of native tree species planted today must be able to meet the climatic challenges they will face during this century. One strategy to meet this challenge is assisted migration, the intentional movement of plant materials in response to climate change to maximize survival and curtail maladaptation. For successful assisted migration, climate changes will need to be met by changes in ethical, legal, political, and economical paradigms, as well as with the way foresters view seed transfer guidelines. We review and explore assisted migration as an adaptation strategy, discuss the role of nurseries, present some working examples, and provide tools and resources for consultation. Continue reading


By Richard Haard, Propagator, Fourth Corner Nurseries

From Merriam-Webster… Anthropogenic : of, relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on nature

Here in the lower 48 states it is difficult to find a tract that has not been influenced by the hand of man or by livestock. Plant communities containing natural vegetation are either obliterated or contaminated with escaped ornamentals or by the seeds of weeds and exotic grasses borne by hay fed animals, farming activities and passing cars.

In some places though, as in the high forest country or the remote north of Alaska, where wilderness surrounds civilization, these exotics are absent and we can see the countryside with its natural endowment. Occasionally we come across modifications to the natural landscape we inherited from our original peoples, who have lived here for as long as 12,000 years, which adds an interesting angle to these thoughts. Continue reading