Why is the IMPACT project important?
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It is already widely acknowledged that climate change will have direct and indirect effects on trees in Ireland and Wales. Direct effects are likely to come from higher temperatures and lower rainfall, made worse by extreme events, including flooding and frost periods, which will stress trees, making them more vulnerable to pest infestation.
The indirect effects on trees are through increased populations of insects and pathogens, caused by changes in climate and especially increased temperatures, which can rapidly overwhelm the natural defences of their host trees, especially if the trees are already under stress.
All these influence tree growth and survival and may compromise the carbon sequestration potential of woodlands. Climate modelling by the ICARUS group within IMPACT underpins crucial work in predicting which trees and their associated pests will be most affected by future climates. This will provide tools to tailor monitoring for pests and optimise the IPM approach that is a core aim of IMPACT.
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