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Age Distribution and Reproduction of Intermountain Aspen Stands

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Stand age and sucker reproduction was measured in 713 aspen-dominated forest plots on nine National Forests in Utah, southeastern Idaho, and western Wyoming. About 95% of the quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) stands are dominated by mature or over-mature trees. Almost one-sixth are in the 120-year or older age class and can be expected to deteriorate rapidly. The oldest aspen measured was 222 years. Stands in central and southern Utah are generally older than those in southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming. A fourth of the stands had more than 2,000 suckers per acre; half had fewer than 800 per acre. Approximately a third of the essentially pure (i.e., not invaded by conifers), mature or over-mature stands may experience regeneration problems because they contain less than 500 suckers per acre. A decision model is presented that will assist managers in identifying stands that require direct management intervention to ensure their survival as aspen-dominated communities. West J. Appl. For. 4(2):41-45, April 1989.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Retired, Principal Plant Ecologist Stationed, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Logan, UT 84321

Publication date: April 1, 1989

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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