Cross Posted from Herald Extra
If Utah’s quaking aspen appear to be quaking more than usual this summer, the trees have reason to tremble, says a Brigham Young University biologist. In dappled forests across the West, aspen trees are battling deadly killers from heat stroke to bud-nipping predators to tree “heart attacks.”
In a July special aspen tree issue of Forest Ecology and Management, BYU biology professor Sam St. Clair and colleagues from across the west report that they are seeing troubling declines in aspen populations in Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. The die-offs are seen most dramatically at lower elevations where drought and hotter temperatures are killing older trees.
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