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Variability in Historical Aspen Dynamics: Implications for Current Restoration Priorities
Bill Romme, Professor of Fire Ecology, Colorado State Universtiy
Aspen occupies millions of acres in the west, occurs in a wide variety of environmental settings, and exhibits a diversity of successional dynamics. Four general types of aspen dynamics can be recognized: stable or persistent aspen, seral aspen in no imminent danger of being lost, seral aspen in danger of disappearing within a single generation, and deteriorating aspen being replaced by herbs or shrubs. I will present examples of each type of aspen forest, suggest some of the major spatial and geographical patterns of distribution of each type, and evaluate each in terms of the urgency for restoration.