USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics: Climate Change, Mitigation, and Adaptation Science

Evaluating Ecosystem Effects

The Status of Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the Sierra Nevada

Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) is the most widespread tree species in North America. It provides great benefits where it occurs as forage and habitat for wildlife. It also acts as a fuel break and retains much more water in the environment than do most conifer species.

Photo of quaking aspens in fall
  • To review the literature on quaking aspen in the western U.S.
  • To elucidate the potential effects of climate change on aspen
  • To provide land managers the tools with which they can monitor, understand, and potentially restore aspen stands on the landscape.
Application of Research Results

This report also summarizes the latest research on sudden aspen decline, or SAD, a climate-related phenomenon that is affecting the interior west of the United States but has not yet been seen in California. In consultation with aspen experts, we developed a survey in order to establish baseline health of trees and potentially detect the early arrival of SAD in California. The links below provide information for land managers to begin to understand the potential effects of climate change on quaking aspen.

Lead Scientists/Collaborators

Morelli, T.L., Millar, C.I., Delany, D.D., and Westfall, R.D.
USDA Forest Service, PSW Research Station
Sierra Nevada Research Center
800 Buchanan St., Albany, CA 94710 USA
ph: 510-559-6300

Publications and Reports