Upland aspen (Populus spp.) forests contribute significantly to biodiversity in their circumboreal role as keystone species. The 43-hectare Pando aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) clone in Utah, USA, is thought to be the largest living organism on earth, but is faltering due to chronic herbivory. Long-term resilience in aspen communities, including Pando, rests on successful recruitment of vegetative suckers. This is the first trend assessment of this threatened iconic forest using a vital indicators approach. I examined 64 plots using 19 indicators to determine current conditions. Findings show that a genetically uniform Pando is 'breaking up' because of herbivory fencing. Initial successes are tempered by nearly half of Pando that remains unprotected from chronic wild and domestic ungulates herbivory. I propose a strategy of process-based stewardship informed by adaptive monitoring to restore the famed 'one-tree forest.' Lessons from Pando include linkages to embattled biodiverse aspen systems facing similar challenges globally.
Author ORCID Identifier
Paul C. Rogers https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5978-8910
See README file.
Western Aspen Alliance
US Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Utah State University
US Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) L21AC10369
The data consists of location, mensuration, regeneration/recruitment, and animal browse/scat data from the Pando aspen clone near Fish Lake, Utah. This is a full remeasurement of this famous grove. Previous full or partial measures of Pando were conducted in 2014-2016, 2017.
Populus spp., Populus tremuloides Michx.
Fish Lake, Utah
See README file.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Rogers, P. C. (2022). Pando Aspen 2021 Remeasure [Data set]. Utah State University. https://doi.org/10.26078/8AGW-0368
Additional FilesREADME_Rogers_2021.txt (5 kB)
PandoAspenPlotData_2021remeasure.csv (6 kB)
PandoAspenPlotData_2021remeasure.xlsx (21 kB)