The Scots pine that is such an iconic feature of forests in this country could disappear from Scotland's landscape over the next century due to climate change, says the author of a new book on the changing pattern of tree distribution, The Treeline.

In an in-depth interview, Ben Rawlence said he came across this prediction, which he regards as "earthshattering" in a couple of diffferent papers which modelled the impact of climate change on the tree.  One was created by the University of Oregon, the other the Met Office. “It didn’t take much,” he said, “to join the dots and say that if they were gone at 63 degrees north and we’re at 57 degrees north, that means that they’re gone.”

READ FULL INTERVIEW HERE: Both sides of rewilding debate are wrong, says author

The Met office paper predicted that, in Europe, the tree will be confined to areas of Fennoscandia, Russia and the Alps.  “It sounds shocking," he said, "and it might not arrive on the timescales that the models predict, but at some point in the next century if the warming trajectory continues as at present and we get to 2C in the next decade and 4C by 2100, then yes it does mean that there won’t be any more Scots pines in Scotland." 

“That’s a terrible thought," he added. "But hopefully that will give people pause and they will start to engage more with not just rewilding, but nature recovery and strategic ecology and thinking more broadly about our landscape and how we relate to it and what we need from it.”

READ MORE: Fellowship of the rings: Why we must protect our ancient trees


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