Aspen Bibliography


Soil Macrocharcoals Reveal Millennial-Scale Stability at the Pando Aspen Clonal Colony, Utah, USA

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Forest Ecology and Management






Elsevier BV

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Communities of Populus tremuloides are widespread in the north and central-west part of North America. A well-known aspen site is the Pando aspen clone, which is situated adjacent to Fish Lake, Utah. This stand of genetically identical trees is putatively the most massive organism on earth. Our pedoanthracological study is focused on the reconstruction of forest history in the Pando aspen stand. Results document presence and abundance of charcoal species during a period of nearly 9,000 years. While we make no attempt to explicitly identify the Pando genotype throughout this period, we can determine trends in dominant tree species which allows for the possibility of a single long-lived aspen specimen. The dominance of Populus charcoals was recorded in all soil profiles within the current Pando stand area. The radiocarbon data documented an increase of fire events over the last 2,000 years, which were probably related to human activities. Results of our study document the first multi-millennial pattern of aspen cover at a single locale. We relate this long-term pattern to restoration practices in contemporary stable aspen communities, since these practices are compatible with endemic disturbance processes. We believe that patterns and processes gleaned from this work will be instructive for forest management broadly, as well as preservation of aspen communities across in North American and globally.