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Human activities have caused the decline of numerous species and ecosystems. To promote ecosystem resilience, recent management efforts aim to maintain ecosystem patterns and processes within their historical range of variability. There has been substantial concern that quaking aspen, the most widely distributed tree in North America and the most important deciduous tree in the subalpine forests of the Rocky Mountains, has declined significantly in the western landscape during the 20th century. This reported decline has been attributed to conifer encroachment associated with fire exclusion, as well as other causes. To assess long-term changes in the extent of quaking aspen in a 175000-ha study area in western Colorado,...
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Aim The recent concern that quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) has been declining in parts of western North America due to fire suppression is largely based on trends during the latter part of the 20th century. The aim of the current study was to compare the extent of aspen in the modern landscape with its extent in the late 19th century prior to fire suppression, and to assess the effects of elevation, late-19th century fires, and pre-fire forest composition on the successional status of aspen. Location North-west Colorado, USA. Methods We used a georeferenced 1898 map and modern maps to examine trends in aspen dominance since the late 19th century in a 348,586 ha area of White River and Routt National...


    map background search result map search result map Influences of infrequent fire, elevation and pre-fire vegetation on the persistence of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) in the Flat Tops area, Colorado, USA Influences of infrequent fire, elevation and pre-fire vegetation on the persistence of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) in the Flat Tops area, Colorado, USA