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First Comprehensive Assessment of Pando Reveals Critical Threats

Public Library of Science Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018


Utah State University researchers Paul Rogers and Darren McAvoy have conducted the first complete assessment of the Pando aspen clone and the results show continuing deterioration of this 'forest of one tree.' ... Rogers and McAvoy, in a PLOS ONE publication released 17 October, 2018, show Pando, Utah's massive, yet imperiled, aspen clone, is in grave need of forest triage. ... "After significant investment in protecting the iconic Pando clone, we were disappointed in this result. ... says Rogers, Director of the Western Aspen Alliance and Adjunct Faculty member in USU's Wildland Resources Department. ... One clear lesson emerges here: we cannot independently manage wildlife and forests." In addition to presenting the first comprehensive analysis of forest conditions, the study offers a unique 72-year historical aerial photo sequence the visually chronicles the a steady thinning of the forest, past clear-cuts that remain deforested today, and continual intrusion of human development. ... This work further argues for 'mega-conservation' as a departure from traditional individual species-habitat approaches.

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