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Selection of provenances to adapt tropical pine forestry to climate change on the basis of climate analogs

Climate change is likely to affect substantial areas of forest plantation production in the tropics and subtropics, and it may make the choice of which species and provenance to plant increasingly difficult. In this study, growth performance of plantings of pine tree species in Colombia, Brazil and South Africa was correlated to the degree of climatic dissimilarity between planting sites. The study evaluated the two methods of quantifying climate dissimilarity with extensive field data based on the goodness of fit and statistical significance of the climate distance relation to differences in height growth. The best method was then used as a predictor of a provenance change in height growth under different climate change scenarios. The results indicate that the analysis of provenance trial data with climate similarity models helps to: maintain plantation productivity in a changing climate; and improve our understanding of tree species’ adaptation to a changing climate.