View Full Version : In Utah, Pando is dying

10-18-2018, 02:57 PM
The worlds second largest organism, 107 acres of Pando Aspen clones is in trouble. Its shrinking. All the trees are genetically male and the organism is thousands of years old. But the balance is gone, Mule deer are the ostensible cause but the lack of predators may be be more important. The article does not seem to mention climate change but trees are climatically sensitive and will 'move' as they are in our alpine environments.
Over the years since monitoring began the forest has shrunk considerably since

Yellow line is clone's boundary


10-18-2018, 03:08 PM
I was reading about this yesterday.

10-18-2018, 03:13 PM
It has been unusually dry in the Western US this year and for the past few. I'm sure that has been contributory.

10-18-2018, 04:36 PM
The Source Article:

Aspen forests (chiefly Populus tremuloides, P. tremula) are among the most widespread tree systems in the world, yet their sustainability is threatened by human-induced impacts such as warming climates, development, fire suppression, and unchecked herbivory. These Populus systems support unusually high levels of biodiversity, when compared to surrounding conifer-dominated forests [1–6]. In aspen systems where rejuvenating fire does not play a large role [7], combined effects of herbivory and prolonged drought can be especially damaging to system resilience [8], as well as having cascading effects on biodiversity [9]. In a North American management context, these elements—forestry, wildlife, disturbance ecology—are often addressed within distinct disciplinary “silos.” This situation constitutes a challenge for sustainable stewardship in the face of expected near-term climate warming and altered precipitation patterns leading to extended seasonal droughts.


Mule deer impede Pando’s recovery: Implications for aspen resilience from a single-genotype forest (LINK) (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0203619)

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S.V. Airlie
10-18-2018, 05:52 PM
It has been unusually dry in the Western US this year and for the past few. I'm sure that has been contributory.But, they've been around for thousands of years and the photos by year shows the loss to be progressive. A few yrs of drought should be a blink in time.

David W Pratt
10-18-2018, 07:25 PM
Is loss by replacement/displacement?