Economics of Climate Resilience: Forestry

Submitted by Michael Rastall | published 27th Mar 2013 | last updated 13th Jan 2020
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Executive summary

The Focus of the Analysis

This report addresses the question:

“What is the case for further action in relation to climate change
adaptation for forest productivity and associated ecosystem services?”

Particular focus was requested by Defra on conifers and broadleaf productivityand forestry land-use and its impact on ecosystems and ancient woodlands.

What is the exposure of UK forests to climate change

The potential impacts of climate change differ across tree species, geographical locations and timeframes. Climate change is likely to have implications for timber revenues, recreation and woodland landscapes, habitats for plants and animals,biodiversity, regulation of carbon and air pollution. For example, changes in average temperature, precipitation and soil moisture could potentially cause a fall in the annual potential production of forests in England of up to around 40% by the 2080s (assuming a high emissions scenario), and up to around 7% in Wales (relative to no climate change in that year). In Scotland, potential production could be higher by up to around 20%.