Title

“Pando” Lives: Molecular Genetic Evidence of a Giant Aspen Clone in Central Utah

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Western North American Naturalist

Volume

68

Issue

4

Publisher

Brigham Young University

Publication Date

2008

First Page

493

Last Page

497

DOI

10.3398/1527-0904-68.4.493

Abstract

While clones of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides, Michx.) in the Intermountain West of North America are expected to be large, one putative genet in central Utah, identified from morphological evidence, has garnered particular attention for its size, even gaining the nickname “Pando” (Latin for “I spread”). In order to determine if a single genetic individual coincides with the morphological boundary of “Pando,” we sampled 209 stems on a 50-m grid throughout the putative clone for analysis at 7 microsatellite loci. We have identified a single genetic entity concurrent with that described from morphological characteristics. Spatial analyses indicate that the clone covers approximately 43.6 ha. Surprisingly, an additional 40 genotypes were identified adjacent to the putative clone, indicating that genet diversity may be high in the stand as a whole. In confirming the existence of the “Pando” clone, we suggest that this organism will provide valuable opportunities to study important biological processes such as clonal growth, somatic mutation, and senescence.

Comments

Originally published by Brigham Young University. Publisher's PDF available through remote link.