Event Title

Guidelines for Aspen Restoration in Utah and the Intermountain West

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

https://www.restoringthewest.org/

Abstract

As highly productive and biologically diverse communities, healthy quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides; hereafter aspen) forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services across western North America. Western aspen decline during the last century has been attributed to multiple causes and their interactionsincluding: altered fire regimes, drought, excessive use by domestic and wild ungulates, and conifer encroachment. Today’s managers need science-based guidance to develop and implement strategies and practices to restore structure, processes and resilience to the full range of aspen functional types across multiple spatial scales. We propose a step-by-step decision process for aspen restoration including: 1) assessment of aspen condition, 2) identification of problematic conditions, 3) determination of causal factors for , 4) selection of appropriate response options, 5) monitoring for improvement, and 6) assessment and adaptation. We encourage the establishment and use of reference areas in which the full range of natural environmental conditions and ecosystem processes associated with aspen can be observed and quantified. These guidelines provide a broad map for decision makers to adaptively manage aspen in a time of increasing environmental stress and in anticipation of an uncertain future.

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Oct 17th, 12:45 PM Oct 17th, 1:30 AM

Guidelines for Aspen Restoration in Utah and the Intermountain West

USU Eccles Conference Center

As highly productive and biologically diverse communities, healthy quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides; hereafter aspen) forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services across western North America. Western aspen decline during the last century has been attributed to multiple causes and their interactionsincluding: altered fire regimes, drought, excessive use by domestic and wild ungulates, and conifer encroachment. Today’s managers need science-based guidance to develop and implement strategies and practices to restore structure, processes and resilience to the full range of aspen functional types across multiple spatial scales. We propose a step-by-step decision process for aspen restoration including: 1) assessment of aspen condition, 2) identification of problematic conditions, 3) determination of causal factors for , 4) selection of appropriate response options, 5) monitoring for improvement, and 6) assessment and adaptation. We encourage the establishment and use of reference areas in which the full range of natural environmental conditions and ecosystem processes associated with aspen can be observed and quantified. These guidelines provide a broad map for decision makers to adaptively manage aspen in a time of increasing environmental stress and in anticipation of an uncertain future.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2017/Oct17/11