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Douglas J. Shinneman, Kevin Krasnow, Susan K. McIlroy
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Ecology
Fire Effects
Ecological - Second Order
Management Approaches
Adaptive Management
Recovery after fire

NRFSN number: 16377
Record updated:

Quaking aspen is generally considered to be a fire-adapted species because it regenerates prolifically after fire, and it can be replaced by more shade-tolerant tree species in the absence of fire. As early-successional aspen stands transition to greater conifer-dominance, they become increasingly fire prone, until fire returns, and aspen again temporarily dominate. While this disturbance-succession cycle is critical to the persistence of aspen on many landscapes, some aspen stands persist on the landscape without fire. The complex role of fire is an important consideration for developing conservation and restoration strategies intended to sustain aspen.


Shinneman DJ, Krasnow KD, McIlroy SK. 2015. The role of fire in aspen ecology and restoration. Western Aspen Alliance Brief 3, 2 p. (

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