Event Title

A Seedling-Based Approach to Aspen Restoration

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Abstract

Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) is a foundation species in the western US, however with recent widespread declines and predicted range contractions over the coming century, more proactive management tools may be necessary. Traditional silvicultural practices to regenerate aspen focus on inducing asexual suckering, but these methods reduce genetic diversity over time and are limited to existing stands. Planting of nursery-grown aspen seedlings could address these limitations but protocols have yet to be developed for the western US. To test a seedling-based approach to aspen restoration, over 7,000 nursery-propagated seedlings were planted in southwestern Utah in October 2015. Results from the 2016 growing season indicate mixed outplanting success, with rodent herbivory and early summer drought as the main limiters. Additionally, uneven responses among seedling sources in the nursery suggest further protocol optimization will be necessary. Monitoring will continue in 2017 to assess the ongoing performance of the established seedlings.

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Oct 18th, 5:10 PM Oct 18th, 5:15 PM

A Seedling-Based Approach to Aspen Restoration

USU Eccles Conference Center

Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) is a foundation species in the western US, however with recent widespread declines and predicted range contractions over the coming century, more proactive management tools may be necessary. Traditional silvicultural practices to regenerate aspen focus on inducing asexual suckering, but these methods reduce genetic diversity over time and are limited to existing stands. Planting of nursery-grown aspen seedlings could address these limitations but protocols have yet to be developed for the western US. To test a seedling-based approach to aspen restoration, over 7,000 nursery-propagated seedlings were planted in southwestern Utah in October 2015. Results from the 2016 growing season indicate mixed outplanting success, with rodent herbivory and early summer drought as the main limiters. Additionally, uneven responses among seedling sources in the nursery suggest further protocol optimization will be necessary. Monitoring will continue in 2017 to assess the ongoing performance of the established seedlings.