The Pando Aspen Stand, which is believed to be the world’s largest single organism, is on the verge of extinction, according to a recent research Utah State University. A group of genetically identical stems with a vast shared root system is thought to be thousands of years old. It is located in south-central Utah and covers more than 100 acres. The pando weighs 13 million pounds on a dry weight basis.
The “trembling giant” may have existed for thousands of years, but now, it has begun to disintegrate. The study further notes that Paul Rogers, director of the Western Aspen Alliance and an assistant professor of ecology at the University of Utah-affiliated Quinney College of Natural Resources, completed a preliminary in-depth assessment of pandos five years ago.
The assessment demonstrated how cattle and browsing deer were damaging the stand by preventing the formation of new aspen suckers and thus giving the giant plant a shelf life. The new aspen seedlings were not spared from carnivorous browsers to replace the dying large trees. Slowly, Pando is suffering and dying.
Management responded to the threat by building a fence around a portion of the stand to keep out grazing animals, a form of protection. Professor Rogers visits Pando again to assess the plan and examine its general welfare. Professor Rogers’ findings and research have been published in magazine Nominated Conservation science and practice.
According to the paper, deer and cattle are posing a threat to pandas by eating new sprouts, which is reducing the lifespan of the structure because when large trees die, there are fewer young shrubs to replace them.
According to newsweek“These findings suggest that the genetically identical pando is “breaking up” due to herbivores and fencing.
“This iconic aspen clone has experienced frequent browsing by mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus raff.) and cattle (Bos taurus L.) in recent decades, as if it were slowly dying out; the once-dense canopy thinned. while the vegetative progeny (regenerated suckers) fail to reach maturity,” it quoted the professor in the study.
The situation has only gotten worse in previous attempts to stop the decline of pandas, such as when fences were built to prevent the animals from eating small trees. This would have separated the creature into broken areas, newsweek Said further.