• Time Series Aerial Photography Can Help Land Owners and Managers Understand Local Aspen Dynamics

      Strand, Eva K.; O'Sullivan, M. Tess; Bunting, Stephen C. (Society for Range Management, 2012-10-01)
      Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) habitats contribute to species diversity, provide forage and shade for wildlife and livestock, and are highly valued by humans for their productivity and beauty. Aspen decline has been observed in the western United States over the past 50 years and has been mainly attributed to a decrease in fire frequency, caused by effective fire suppression. Changing fire regimes have allowed conifer species to expand into aspen stands. Another phenomenon, commonly referred to as “Sudden Aspen Decline” (SAD), has been observed within the past decade in the western mountains and in the Canadian aspen parklands. Mature aspen stems begin to die at rates beyond what is expected, which if aspen regeneration is limited, can eventually lead to the loss of the aspen roots and stands. Excessive browsing by livestock and wildlife can also inhibit aspen regeneration.