Canadian Forest Service Publications

Is the wide distribution of aspen a result of its stress tolerance? 2001. Lieffers, V.J.; Landhäusser, S.M.; Hogg, E.H. Pages 311-323 in Proceedings of Sustaining Aspen in Western Landscapes Symposium, June 13-15, 2000, Grand Rapids, Michigan. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, RMRS-P-18.

Year: 2001

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 18532

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

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Abstract—Populus tremuloides is distributed from drought-prone fringes of the Great Plains to extremely cold sites at arctic treeline. To occupy these conditions aspen appears to be more tolerant of stress than the other North American species of the genus Populus. Cold winters, cold soil conditions during the growing season, periodic drought, insect defoliation, and competition from conifers are typical stresses faced by aspen. Aspen is capable of high photosynthetic rates but has conservative use of water during high vapor pressure deficits. This paper examines photosynthesis, water relations, morphological characteristics and root growth, and carbon allocation strategies in relation to the above stresses.