References – Assisted Migration


Young, D. J., Blush, T. D., Landram, M., Wright, J. W., Latimer, A. M., & Safford, H. D. (2020). Assisted gene flow in the context of large‐scale forest management in California, USA. Ecosphere11(1), e03001. Full Article

“As climate changes, locally adapted tree populations may become maladapted to the sites in which they presently occur.”


Browne, L., Wright, J. W., Fitz-Gibbon, S., Gugger, P. F., & Sork, V. L. (2019). Adaptational lag to temperature in valley oak (Quercus lobata) can be mitigated by genome-informed assisted gene flow. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences116(50), 25179-25185. Full Article from Google Scholar link.

“These results illustrate that the belief of local adaptation underlying many management and conservation practices, such as using local seed sources for restoration, may not hold for some species. If contemporary adaptational lag is commonplace, we will need new approaches to help alleviate predicted negative consequences of climate warming on natural systems. We present one such approach, “genome-informed assisted gene flow,” which optimally matches individuals to future climates based on genotype–phenotype–environment associations.”

Entwisle, T. J. (2019). R‐E‐S‐P‐E‐C‐T: How Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is responding to climate change. Plants, People, Planet1(2), 77-83. Open Access

“Climate analogues are being used to identify places in Australia and elsewhere with conditions today similar to those predicted for Melbourne in 2090, to help select new species for the collection. Modelling of the natural and cultivated distribution of species will be used to help select suitable growth forms to replace existing species of high value or interest.”

Simler, A. B., Williamson, M. A., Schwartz, M. W., & Rizzo, D. M. (2019). Amplifying plant disease risk through assisted migration. Conservation Letters12(2), e12605. Full Article

“The costs of inaction, resulting in some level of species extinction, may ultimately outweigh disease risks associated with AM. This will be a social choice, informed by scientific knowledge.”


Lanza, K., & Stone, B. (2016). Climate adaptation in cities: What trees are suitable for urban heat management? Landscape and Urban Planning, 153, 74–82. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.12.002

“As hardiness zones continue to migrate northward with climate change, heat island mitigation and other environmental management strategies employing green infrastructure must identify tree species that are likely to remain well adapted to urban climates many years into the future.”

Aitken, S. N., & Bemmels, J. B. (2016). Time to get moving: assisted gene flow of forest trees. Evolutionary Applications, 9(1), 271–290. doi:10.1111/eva.12293

“. . . uncertainty exists around future water availability than future temperatures. Planting forests with high genetic diversity, including seedlings from warmer, drier populations, should provide some buffering against this uncertainty as long as sites remain within a species’ bioclimatic niche.”

Hodgins, K. A., & Moore, J. L. (2016). Adapting to a warming world: Ecological restoration, climate change, and genomics. American Journal of Botany, 103(4), 590–592. doi:10.3732/ajb.1600049


Dumroese, R. K., Williams, M. I., Stanturf, J. A., & Clair, J. B. St. (2015). Considerations for restoring temperate forests of tomorrow: forest restoration, assisted migration, and bioengineering. New Forests, 46(5-6), 947–964. doi:10.1007/s11056-015-9504-6


Vitt, P., Havens, K., Kramer, A. T., Sollenberger, D., & Yates, E. (2010). Assisted migration of plants: Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes. Biological Conservation, 143(1), 18–27. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2009.08.015

“Ultimately, implementation of assisted migration, or other large scale conservation mechanisms, will require reconciliation between the hubris of being able to control nature, with the hubris that humans are somehow not a part of nature.”


Van der Veken, S., Hermy, M., Vellend, M., Knapen, A., & Verheyen, K. (2008). Garden plants get a head start on climate change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 6(4), 212–216. doi:10.1890/070063