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By Chris Mooney
Last week, a group of researchers published saddening news about “sudden oak death,” spread by an invasive water mold, that has killed over a million trees in coastal California. The pathogen, they found, simply cannot be stopped — though it can still be contained, and the harm mitigated. But it is too extensively established now in California to eradicate.
Future trees will still look like today's trees as the climate warms, but they're going to need a whole new set of genes.
"In my opinion the single biggest threat to Canada's forests is climate change," says forestry professor Sally Aitken.
"And there are things that we can change ... to make that forest more resilient in the face of climate change."
She's a forest geneticist at the University of British Columbia. This week she'll tell scientists, MPs and senators in Ottawa about the unseen differences among trees of the same species.
Environment reporter, BBC News
A senior UN official has described the world's forests as "fundamental" to human well-being and survival.
Eva Mueller, director of the Food and Agriculture Organization's Forestry Division, said trees provided a direct source of food, fuel and income.
Commenting on the findings of the UN's State of the World's Forest report, she added forests habitats were home to an estimated 80% of global biodiversity.
The report has been published at a UN forestry meeting in Rome, Italy.