Translocating the forest to face climatic change. Impacts on migratory Monarch butterfly in Mexico and on wood formation in France

May 02, 2024 - 16 h 00

IRBI - Salle séminaire Faculté des Sciences et Techniques
Avenue Monge, Parc Grandmont
37000 Tours


Projections of climatic change indicate the disappearance of the suitable climatic habitat for the conifer forest tree Abies religiosa (Oyamel, Sacred fir) inside the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (MBBR), at central México. That forest tree conforms the high elevation forests that host the overwintering colonies of migratory Monarch butterflies, that fly every year from Canada. Since the MBBR has its summits at about 3550 m of altitude, it is needed to shift the A. religiosa populations to a higher mountain outside of the MBBR, in this case, to Nevado de Toluca, an (relatively near) extinct volcano (summit: 4690 m). In other words, we aim to do a forest species range expansion to higher elevations. We established four A. religiosa reforestation tests of A. religiosa seedlings at contrasting altitudes at Nevado de Toluca: 4000 (timberline, an extreme site), 3800 and 3600 m (testing upper altitude species range expansion) and at 3400 m (reference site, similar to upper sites of A. religiosa at MBBR). The challenge is to move enough in elevation the A. religiosa, to have healthy adapted trees in future climates, without killing in the present the seedlings due to frost damage. We analyze our results of survival and seedling growth as response to the climatic transfer distance: the difference between climate of origin of the seedlings and climate of plantation site. The same approach is been applied on a research project with host scientist Philippe Rozenberg, INRAE Val de Loire, to measure the impact of the climatic transfer distance on the formation of wood (measuring the wood density at a nanometric scale), on an experimental tree plantation of the conifer Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir), with seedlings originated from seed collected at Washington, Oregon and California, USA, and planted at Corsica and the Massif Central in France.


Dr Cuauhtémoc Saenz-Romero

LE STUDIUM Visiting Researcher 

FROM: Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo - MX 
IN RESIDENCE AT: BioForA, Centre INRAE Val-de-Loire / ONF - FR

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