Extension, Utah State University
Aspen is a keystone species in montane forests, and enhances a number of key resource values including wildlife habitat, water resources, and fire behavior. Recently, aspen forests have experienced episodes of dieback and decline across western North America (Worrall et al. 2010, Guyon and Hoffman 2011). A large proportion of the dieback and decline has been linked to drought stress or drought-prone locations (Hanna and Kulakowski 2012). However, insects and diseases are commonly found in declining aspen stands, leading to confusion about the role of insects and diseases in aspen ecology. Additionally, aspen has a reputation for being susceptible to many diseases and insects, but only a few cause significant damage in the western U.S. (Worrall et al. 2010, Guyon and Hoffman 2011).
Guyon, J. C., II. 2019. The role of disease & insects in aspen ecology. Western Aspen Alliance. Utah State University Logan, UT. WAA Brief #5.