Study Finds Huge Aspen Grove Continues To Decline

Oct 23, 2018

Pando: the world's largest single organism.
Credit phys.org

A new study finds a Utah aspen grove considered the world's largest living organism is continuing to decline despite new fencing designed to keep out mule deer whose appetites are blamed its deterioration.

Two Utah State University professors found that some fencing constructed in 2013 is keeping the deer from eating the trees, but additional barriers put up in 2014 don't seem to have protected the colony known as Pando.

Utah State extension professor Darren McAvoy says that's likely because falling trees have knocked over the fence, allowing the deer back inside.

The grove originated from a single seed hundreds or even thousands of years ago, and now consists of over 40,000 genetically identical trees that sharing one root system.