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An aspen leaf submerged in liquid Nitrogen, ready to be ground with a pestle in the process of isolating DNA. We are able to obtain tons of DNA from small samples; little vials like this contain the history of our region! Experiment Logo.

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About This Project In the Willamette Valley, there are mysterious stands of aspen far separated from any other wild aspens, whose origin is completely unknown. What is the significance of this project? What are the goals of the project? Budget Please wait Meet the Team. Team Bio Collin Peterson top left is a researcher in the lab, with a background in entomology. He is fascinated by our ability to look into the genetic code to understand natural histories.

The lost aspens of the Willamette Valley: Did catastrophic floods carry them from the Rockies?

This research will add to his knowledge, which he'll apply towards a PhD in ecology and evolution. Steve Strauss top right has worked on the evolution, genetic diversity, and phylogeny of forest trees for many years. The Aspens Fall: Brad woke up in the cabin of a beautiful nurse named Hannah. He had been hit on the head and didn't know the who or why behind it. As Hannah tried helping him, they ran into danger everywhere they went. Brad tried to keep Hannah and her two border collies safe.

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While Hannah helped get Brad back on his feet, she found herself not only in danger, but quickly falling in love with Brad. While bullets flew at every turn, Brad wondered if he and Hannah would live to cherish the new love they found in each other. Remember the Aspens: Lynn was on a mission for the perfect wedding dress and veil for her best friend.

After she found exactly what she was looking for, she found herself almost abducted One such colony in Utah, given the nickname of "Pando" , is estimated to be 80, years old, [3] making it possibly the oldest living colony of aspens. They are able to survive forest fires , because the roots are below the heat of the fire, and new sprouts appear after the fire burns out. The high stem turnover rate combined with the clonal growth leads to proliferation in aspen colonies.

The Aspen Series

The high stem turnover regime supports a diverse herbaceous understory. Aspens do not thrive in the shade, and it is difficult for seedlings to grow in an already mature aspen stand.

Fire indirectly benefits aspen trees, since it allows the saplings to flourish in open sunlight in the burned landscape, devoid of other competing tree species. Aspens have increased in popularity as a forestry cultivation species, mostly because of their fast growth rate and ability to regenerate from sprouts.

This lowers the cost of reforestation after harvesting since no planting or sowing is required. Recently, aspen populations have been declining in some areas. This may be due to several different factors, such as climate change , which exacerbates drought and modifies precipitation patterns. Recruitment failure from herbivory or grazing prevents new trees from coming up after old trees die.

Additionally, successional replacement by conifers due to fire suppression alters forest diversity and creates conditions where aspen may be at less of an advantage. Sudden aspen death is also occurring more often as a result of drought stress.

The Aspen Series by Elizabeth Sherry

In contrast with many trees, aspen bark is base-rich, [ clarification needed ] meaning aspens are important hosts for bryophytes [4] and act as food plants for the larvae of butterfly Lepidoptera species—see List of Lepidoptera that feed on poplars. Young aspen bark is an important seasonal forage for the European hare and other animals in early spring.

Aspen is also a preferred food of the European beaver. Elk , deer , and moose not only eat the leaves but also strip the bark with their front teeth.

Leaf of Populus grandidentata. Autumn colour of Populus tremula.