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Pando in Trouble: Massive organism is crashing on our watch | High Sierra Backpacker

Pando in Trouble: Massive organism is crashing on our watch


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 18 October 2018

TREE NEWS

Pando in Trouble

  Pando Grove in fall foliage at Dr. Creek Campground, Utah, image by Paul C. Rogers.
 Pando Grove in fall foliage at Dr. Creek Campground, Utah, image by Paul C. Rogers.

Massive organism is crashing on our watch,
S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources, Utah State University, October 17, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

The Pando
"...considered the world's largest single organism weighing in at an estimated 13 million lbs. (5.9 million kg). Covering some 106 acres (43 ha) in south-central Utah's Fishlake National Forest, the clonal colony consists of more than 47,000 genetically identical above-ground stems or "ramets" originating from a single underground parent clone. Quaking aspen, Pando's iconic species, was named Utah's State Tree in 2014 and, among numerous values, is considered a staple of scenic montane landscapes in the American West. Rogers sees trends found at Pando occurring across the western states"

"...the first complete assessment of the Pando aspen clone and the results show continuing deterioration of this 'forest of one tree.' While a portion of the famed grove is recovery nicely as a result of previous restoration, the majority of Pando (Latin for "I Spread") is diminishing by attrition."

"...Pando, Utah's massive, yet imperiled, aspen clone, is in grave need of forest triage."

"While Pando has likely existed for thousands of years--we have no method of firmly fixing its' age--it is now collapsing on our watch. One clear lesson emerges here: we cannot independently manage wildlife and forests."

"...a harbinger of broader species losses."

 

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