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Encyclopedia > Pando (Quaking Aspen)
The Pando Stamp
The Pando Stamp

Pando (or The Trembling Giant[1]) is a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) tree located in the U.S. state of Utah, all determined to be part of a single living organism by identical genetic markers,[2] and one massive underground root system. The plant is estimated to weigh collectively 6,000 tonnes (six million kilograms),[3] placing it as the heaviest known organism in existence.[4] The root system of Pando is estimated to be the oldest known living being in existence at 80,000 years of age.[5] Image File history File links PandoUSPS.jpg Licensing This image is of a United States postage stamp produced in 1978 or later. ... Image File history File links PandoUSPS.jpg Licensing This image is of a United States postage stamp produced in 1978 or later. ... A clonal colony is a group of plants (or fungi) that have grown in a given location, all originating vegetatively, not sexually, from a given single ancestor. ... Species Populus adenopoda Populus alba Populus grandidentata Populus sieboldii Populus tremula Populus tremuloides Aspens are trees of the willow family and comprise a section of the poplar genus, Populus sect. ... This page is about the country United States of America. ... Official language(s) English Capital Salt Lake City Largest city Salt Lake City Area  Ranked 13th  - Total 84,876 sq. ... Primary and secondary roots in a cotton plant In vascular plants, the root is that organ of a plant body that typically lies below the surface of the soil (compare with stem). ... A tonne (symbol t), sometimes referred to as a metric tonne, is a measurement of weight. ... This is a list of long living organisms. ...

Contents


Name

The name "Pando" was chosen because it is Latin for "I spread", while the nickname "The Trembling Giant" can be attributed to the Judeo-Christian legend holding that aspen leaves (which are widely known to flutter even in the slightest breeze) quake in fear because Jesus Christ is believed to have been crucified on a cross of aspen. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Judeo-Christian (or Judaeo-Christian) is a term used to describe the body of concepts and values which are thought to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, and typically considered (along with classical Greco-Roman civilization) a fundamental basis for Western legal codes and moral values. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


History

An aspen grove at Fishlake National Forest (probably not Pando)
An aspen grove at Fishlake National Forest (probably not Pando)

Pando is thought to have grown for much of its lifetime under ideal circumstances: frequent fires have prevented its main competitor, conifers, from colonizing the area, and climate change, transitioning from a wet and humid weather pattern to semi-arid, has obstructed widespread seedling establishment and the accompanying rivalry from younger aspens. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 980 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Pando (Quaking Aspen) Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 980 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Pando (Quaking Aspen) Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used... Fishlake National Forest is located in south central Utah, it is named for the largest lake in the forest area and was founded in 1899. ... Orders & Families Cordaitales† Pinales   Pinaceae- Pine family   Araucariaceae- Araucaria family   Podocarpaceae- Yellow-wood family   Sciadopityaceae- Umbrella-pine family   Cupressaceae- Cypress family   Cephalotaxaceae- Plum-yew family   Taxaceae- Yew family Vojnovskyales† Voltziales† The conifers, division Pinophyta, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. ...


During intense fires, the organism survived by its root system, sending up new stems in the aftermath of each wildfire. Due to its age, the climate into which Pando was born is markedly different from that of today, and it may be as many as ten millennia since Pando's last successful flowering, according to an OECD report: The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization of those developed countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and a free market economy. ...

   
Clonal groups of P. tremuloides in eastern North America are very common, but generally less than 0.1 ha in size, while in areas of Utah, groups as large as 80 ha have been observed (Kemperman and Barnes 1976). In the semi-arid western United States, some argue that widespread seedling establishment has not occurred since the last glaciation, some 10,000 years ago (Einspahr and Winton 1976, McDonough 1985). Indeed, some biologists feel that western clones could be as old as 1 million years (Barnes 1966, 1975). It has been claimed that a single clone, nicknamed "Pando" (Latin for I spread), covers 43 hectares, contains more than 47,000 stems and weighs in excess of 6 million kg, making it the largest known organism (Grant et al. 1992, Mitton and Grant 1996)
   

Pando was discovered in 1992 by Michael Grant of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Image File history File links Cquote1. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Semi-arid generally describes regions that receive low annual rainfall (25 to 50 cm /10 to 20 in) and generally have scrub or grass vegetation. ... If you have been redirected here after viewing any statistical information, note that as defined by the Census Bureau, the western United States includes 13 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. ... Image File history File links Cquote2. ... The CU Boulder campus. ...


Size and age

The trunk or stem of a Quaking Aspen
The trunk or stem of a Quaking Aspen

The clone encompasses 43 hectares (107 acres) and has around 47,000 trunks, which continually die and are renewed by its roots. The trunks are connected together by its root system. The average age of Pando's trunks (or technically, stems) is 130 years, as deciphered by tree rings. Michael Grant in BioScience said: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2288x1712, 919 KB) Summary Quaking Aspens, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake County, Utah Photo by Scott Catron, September 29, 2005 Licensing Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2288x1712, 919 KB) Summary Quaking Aspens, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake County, Utah Photo by Scott Catron, September 29, 2005 Licensing Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License... There are several people with the name Michael Grant: Michael Grant (author), the historian who wrote about the Roman empire Michael Grant (boxer), the boxer Michael Grant, 12th Baron de Longueuil This human name article is a disambiguation page — a list of pages that might otherwise share the same title... Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology is the science of life (from the Greek words bios = life and logos = word). ...

   
...quaking aspen regularly reproduces via a process called suckering. An individual stem can send out lateral roots that, under the right conditions, send up other erect stems; from all aboveground appearances the new stems look just like individual trees. The process is repeated until a whole stand, of what appear to be individual trees, forms. This collection of multiple stems, called ramets, all form one single, genetic individual, usually termed a clone.
   

In comparison to Pando's most widely held total age of 80,000 years, the most accepted view among current anthropologists is that Homo sapiens first migrated out of Africa to Eurasia and Oceania only 40,000 years ago, and finally to the Americas 10,000 years ago.[6] Image File history File links Cquote1. ... Image File history File links Cquote2. ... Anthropology (from the Greek word άνθρωπος, human or person) consists of the study of humanity (see genus Homo). ... Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... Africa is the worlds second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia. ... Eurasia African-Eurasian aspect of Earth Eurasia is the landmass composed of Europe and Asia. ... Oceania is a geographical, often geopolitical, region consisting of numerous lands – mostly islands but often including Australia – in the Pacific Ocean and vicinity. ... World map showing the Americas The Americas are the lands of the New World or Western hemisphere consisting of the continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. ...


Debate

Some experts speculate that Pando's reign since 1992 as the heaviest and oldest organism in existence may be short-lived. Candidates for the titles include many theoretical scenarios: less well-studied Quaking Aspen in Utah that may be 80 ha in size and one million years in age, a clonal colony of at least 7 Coastal Redwood that could weigh more,[7] possibly older fungal mats in Oregon, or older Creosote Bushes. Other scientists feel that portions of Pando's root system may be dead and might have led the plant to split into separate groups (and thus would not be one organism), though the collective groups would remain the same singular genetic individual. Binomial name Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl. ... Divisions Fungus growing on a tree in Borneo A fungus (plural fungi) is a eukaryotic organism that digests its food externally and absorbs the nutrient molecules into its cells. ... Official language(s) None Capital Largest city Salem Portland Area  Ranked 9th  - Total 98,466 sq. ... Binomial name Larrea tridentata (Sessé & Moc. ...


Tree experts also note that the organism's age cannot be determined with the level of precision found in tree rings; some claim Pando's age is closer to 1 million years[8]. Its current 80,000 years designation is based on a complex set of factors including the history of its local environment such as, the evidence indicating that there are few if any naturally occurring new aspens in most of the western United States since a climate shift took place 10,000 years ago and eliminated favorable soil conditions for seedlings, the rate of growth (including the differences of rates in distinct climates when accounting for its local climate history, that males grow slower than females, and that aspen grow slower at higher elevations with Pando at 2697 m or 8,848 ft above sea level), its size, and its genetic code in comparison to the mutations found among aspens born in the modern era. Michael Grant summed it has: Pinus taeda Cross section showing annual rings Cheraw, South Carolina Dendrochronology or tree-ring dating is the method of scientific dating based on the analysis of tree ring patterns. ... If you have been redirected here after viewing any statistical information, note that as defined by the Census Bureau, the western United States includes 13 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. ... This stylistic schematic diagram shows a gene in relation to the double helix structure of DNA and to a chromosome (right). ... This article is about mutation in biology, for other meanings see: mutation (disambiguation). ...

   
Despite enormous crops of viable seeds, successful seedling establishment appears to be a rare event in the semiarid West, but the establishment of new trees from seeds appears to be common in the moist, humid forests of New England... aspen establishment from seeds probably has not occurred in the western United States since the last glaciation, some 10,000 years ago... Part of the rationale behind current age estimates for aspen clones is that sexual reproduction is effectively frusterated by the rarity of a favorable suite of conditions in semiarid environments... High levels of genetic variation and excesses of heterozygotes are found in [the aspen of] semiarid environments... Clonal reproduction is more common in arid environments... Heterozygotes often exhibit superior longevity in forest trees [across many species]... growth rate of aspen decline with elevation, steepness of slope, age of the ramet, and exposure to wind... growth rate decreased dramatically with elevation... The researchers reported that the area of the female clones was 41% greater than males, the number of female ramets 52% greater, and the basal area of females 56% greater [when compared at the same age and environment]...
   

Image File history File links Cquote1. ... This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... Image File history File links Cquote2. ...

Location

Quaking Aspen in Utah
Quaking Aspen in Utah

Pando lives in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains in Utah near Fish Lake and Bryce Canyon National Park. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1536x2048, 2223 KB) Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Utah Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1536x2048, 2223 KB) Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Utah Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... Wasatch Mountains from space. ... White Goat Wilderness Area, Alberta, Canada View of the Rocky Mountains as depicted on the Colorado state quarter The Rocky Mountains, often called the Rockies, are a broad mountain range in western North America. ... Fish Lake is a high alpine lake (elevevation appx. ...


Trivia

A previous USPS logo The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the United States government (see ) responsible for providing postal service in the United States; it is generally referred to within the United States as the post office. ... species see text Posidonia is the botanical name of a genus of flowering plants. ... Flag of Eivissa (Ibiza) Eivissa or Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea, and belonging to Spain. ... Armillaria ostoyae is the binomial name for one species of fungus commonly known as a Honey mushroom, and sometimes called Shoestring Rot. This is the most common variant in the western US, of the group of species that all used to share the name, Armillaria mellea. ... The Blue Mountains The Blue Mountains are a mountain range located largely in northeastern Oregon and stretching into southeastern Washington in the United States. ... Official language(s) None Capital Largest city Salem Portland Area  Ranked 9th  - Total 98,466 sq. ...

See also

The General Sherman tree, a Giant Sequoia, is generally considered to be the largest (by volume of its trunk) tree in the world The largest organism found on Earth can be measured using a variety of different methods. ... A stolon is an aerial shoot from a plant with the ability to produce adventitious roots and new offshoots of the same plant. ... Production of new individuals along a leaf margin of the air plant, Kalanchoë pinnata. ...

References

  1. ^ The Trembling Giant by Discover Magazine
  2. ^ Pando by the National Park Service
  3. ^ Consensus Document on the Biology of Populus, OECD (.doc file)
  4. ^ Genetic Variation and the Natural History of Quaking Aspen, Jeffry B. Mitton; Michael C. Grant, BioScience, Vol. 46, No. 1. (Jan., 1996), pp. 25-31.
  5. ^ Quaking Aspen by the Bryce Canyon National Park Service
  6. ^ Templeton, Alan (2002). "Out of Africa again and again" Nature 416: 45 - 51.
  7. ^ Bob van Pelt
  8. ^ Genetic Variation and the Natural History of Quaking Aspen, Jeffry B. Mitton; Michael C. Grant, BioScience, Vol. 46, No. 1. (Jan., 1996), pp. 25-31.
  9. ^ New stamps feature Utah's rainbow bridge by the Deseret News

 
 

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