Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Aspen Mystery

So why are Colorado's Aspen stands dying off? No one seems to know. A combination of factors seems to be at play here. Ranching, urban development, and finally local drought. Add to that opportunistic insects and disease and you have the perfect mix for a wipe out of Aspen forest. Of course as everyone scratches their heads about this they forget two little words; Global Warming.

In Alberta a major portion of our Boreal forest is Aspen and NASA's Earth Observatory has noted the same phenomena.

The Future of the Boreal Forest

In Western Canada, some scientists are already concerned that the expected warming and drying of the climate will drastically reduce the abundance of aspen, the primary commercial hardwood species in the southern boreal forest. Insufficient moisture could produce an open aspen parkland, where stunted aspen cluster along water courses, with grasslands in between.

Photographs of Aspen Groves

Where forests will gain or lose ground depends on the regional characteristics of their environment, including water availability and temperature, and one other crucial factor—how fast the species can migrate. This lag time between climate change and species adaptation is something many models don’t take into account.

Folks in Colorado where this is happening have every reason to become tree huggers now. Residents of Mancos feel the pain of trees' deathThe Aspen are key to their bio-political-economy as they are Alberta's . Which should remind us all that The Word For World Is Forest.

Also See


Green Plan


Climate Change

Global Warming

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1 comment:

Jose said...

Excellent post. The consequences of global warming are going to be far more profound than most people have yet to realize. Unfortunately they're not going to arrive with a flourish, they'll creep up and only become blatantly obvious until it's too late to prevent them.