The effect of climate change on Irish forests.

  • M.G. Keane Research and Technology Division, Coillte Teoranta, Sidmonton Place, Bray, Co. Wicklow.
Keywords: Climate change, seed origins, species selection, silviculture, climate model, atmospheric carbon dioxide, growth response, global climate, seeds.


Any climatic changes that are projected for Ireland within the next forty years will influence not only the tree crops being planted today, but also many of the trees and forests already growing here. Rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could alter the productivity of our forests, both directly and indirectly. Included here are changes in rates of photosynthesis, water-use efficiency, photosynthate allocation and damage from injurious agencies. Many of the projected responses of trees and forests are difficult to predict, however, as our current climate models are inexact and the forest-level response is unknown. Irish forestry is currently going through a major transition and future effects of climate change may well be superimposed on even greater changes brought about more by socio-economic reasons than by climatic influences. Nevertheless, Irish foresters and the Irish forest industry cannot afford to be complacent. Anticipation of potential threats and opportunities could result in significant benefits, a healthier forest estate and a long-term competitive advantage.
How to Cite
Keane, M. (1993) “The effect of climate change on Irish forests.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 21July2024).