Event Title

A Seedling-based Approach to Aspen Restoration in the Interior West

Presenter Information

Alex Howe

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

https://www.restoringthewest.org/

Streaming Media

Abstract

Traditional silvicultural practices to regenerate quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) focus on inducing asexual suckering, but these methods can reduce genetic diversity over time and are limited to existing stands. Planting of nursery-grown aspen seedlings for restoration has proven effective in mined-land reclamation in the boreal forests of Canada, but protocols have yet to be developed for the western US where seedling establishment may be more challenging. Here, results from an ongoing study testing seedling-based aspen restoration in southern Utah will be discussed. Survival during the first two years varied substantially between planting locations, and mortality was dominated by rodent herbivory and early summer drought. Additionally, uneven responses among seedling sources in the nursery suggest further protocol optimization will be necessary for western US aspen. Despite these initial challenges, further refinement of seedling-based aspen restoration techniques in the western US could prove to

Comments

Since completing his B.A. in Biology from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, Alex has worked as a botanist with the BLM in central Utah and western Nevada, as well as with the Forest Service in central Oregon on the Ochoco National Forest. He also served as an agroforestry extension volunteer in Senegal with the Peace Corps for 2 years teaching rural farmers and leading workshops on tree nursery management and planting techniques. He is currently in his final year pursuing his M.S. degree in Forest Ecology at USU.

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Oct 18th, 11:45 AM Oct 18th, 12:00 PM

A Seedling-based Approach to Aspen Restoration in the Interior West

USU Eccles Conference Center

Traditional silvicultural practices to regenerate quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) focus on inducing asexual suckering, but these methods can reduce genetic diversity over time and are limited to existing stands. Planting of nursery-grown aspen seedlings for restoration has proven effective in mined-land reclamation in the boreal forests of Canada, but protocols have yet to be developed for the western US where seedling establishment may be more challenging. Here, results from an ongoing study testing seedling-based aspen restoration in southern Utah will be discussed. Survival during the first two years varied substantially between planting locations, and mortality was dominated by rodent herbivory and early summer drought. Additionally, uneven responses among seedling sources in the nursery suggest further protocol optimization will be necessary for western US aspen. Despite these initial challenges, further refinement of seedling-based aspen restoration techniques in the western US could prove to

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2017/Oct18/13