Forest Stand Structure, Productivity, and Age Mediate Climatic Effects on Aspen Decline
Because forest stand structure, age, and productivity can mediate the impacts of climate on quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) mortality, ignoring stand-scale factors limits inference on the drivers of recent sudden aspen decline. Using the proportion of aspen trees that were dead as an index of recent mortality at 841 forest inventory plots, we examined the relationship of this mortality index to forest structure and climate in the Rocky Mountains and Intermountain Western United States. We found that forest structure explained most of the patterns in mortality indices, but that variation in ...
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