Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Pando Forest in Utah

Pando is the name of the largest organism on Earth, and one of the oldest – a quaking aspen that extends over 100 acres from a single root. Pando was discovered by University of Michigan-Ann Arbor botanist Burton Barnes, who first suspected the extent of the grove and began to speculate about its size, weight, and age.

The Pando Clone is an aspen grove on the Fishlake National Forest in south-central Utah that was heralded in 1992 as the world’s largest single living organism. The Pando aspen groveis a 43-ha genetically identical clone and it has a density of just over 400 stems per acre, or a total of around 43,000 stems within its 106 acre area.
This clone has garnered international attention for its immense size and presumptive extreme age. The Pando clone is representative of the Colorado Plateau stable type in which aspen trees do not compete with conifer species in a classic successional progression.

Pando’s individual trees are born, age, and die, but the clone itself, the organism united by a single genetic code and a massive root structure, persists. When trees are killed off by fire or storm, energy transfers through the roots and stimulates growth elsewhere. Pando’s size makes it resistant to wipe-out by a single natural disaster, so its cyclic growth could carry on forever.
Pando Forest in Utah

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