Along with climate change, insect pests and pathogens constitute significant individual threats to forest health. But what happens when these dangers are combined? Climate change brings pests to new areas, makes pests more damaging, reduces trees’ defenses to pests, and can alter how forests recover after pest disturbance.
In this new handout from the Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change Management Network, researchers identify several key strategies for managing the convergence of forest pests and climate change. These include:
- Preventing new pest introductions
- Resisting pest spread by treating individual trees and diversifying forest stands
- Promoting more resilient forests that can rebound from pests
- Helping forests transition to a state better adapted to our future climate