Briefs

Many resource professionals prefer short state-of-the-field synopses of aspen topics. WAA Briefs are two-page summaries of the status of aspen issues important to managers, researchers, professionals, and others. Each Brief provides key references addressing the topic for those wishing to dig deeper. View and distribute Briefs as you see fit. We would love to hear your feedback on content or suggestions for topics not yet addressed. View a sortable version of this page.

Climate Considerations for Quaking Aspen Conservation

Human-caused climate change alters ecosystem processes ranging from local to global scales. As a consequence of climate change we should expect increased rates and intensities of disturbance events.

Aspen as Firebreaks at the Development Fringe

Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) forests are widely known and prized for their numerous values—biodiversity, habitat, forage, recreation, aesthetics, and others—including as a deterrent to wildfire. This reputation for stopping or slowing flames is ex...

Oystershell Scale: An Invasive Threat to Aspen Conservation

Aspen decline is an acute and chronic problem in Arizona, where high levels of overstory mortality and a lack of recruitment continue to be observed. Oystershell scale, an invasive sapsucking insect, has recently become widespread in native aspen stands i...

Pando's Lesson: Restoration of a Giant Aspen Clone

A 106 acre (43 ha) aspen clone lives in the Fishlake National Forest in south-central Utah. Clones are comprised of multiple aspen stems, called ramets, which are genetically identical.

Biodiversity within Aspen Forests

Aspen have long been known for supporting lush vegetation and rich wildlife habitat. These features, alongside brilliant green and gold seasonal coloration, accompany a broadly appreciated aesthetic for aspen forests by the public at-large.

Beaver and Aspen: Synergy Among Keystone Species

In the West, climate change is likely to increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of drought. Restoration of soils and water storage capacity can help create resilient uplands and riverscapes (i.e., streams and the valley bottoms).

The Role of Disease & Insects in Aspen Ecology

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 Amer...

The Role of Fire in Aspen Ecology and Restoration

Quaking aspen is generally considered to be a fire-adapted species because it regenerates prolifically after fire, and it can be replaced by more shade-tolerant tree species in the absence of fire.

Managing Ungulate Browsing for Sustainable Aspen

In montane forests of the Intermountain West composition and function are often defined by what happens with quaking aspen. Aspen is a pioneer species that regenerates quickly following disturbance and then establishes ecological conditions under which th...

Building Resilience into Quaking Aspen Management

Throughout the 20th century, forest scientists and land managers were guided by principles of succession with regard to aspen forests. The historical model depicted aspen as a "pioneer species" that colonizes a site following disturbance and is eventually...