Poplars reproduce through a special process, unlike many other plants that often reproduce asexually. Accordingly, young plants will germinate right on the sub-branch of the root system. When a poplar wishes to die, a new tree will soon form nearby. Just like that, congratulations have created a crowded and identical population. Seen from above, they look like independent individuals, but the cluster uses the same root system. Due to growing from a common root, scientists consider Pando to be a unique living organism.
These poplars are called “trembling” poplars, otherwise known as American poplars, yellow poplars or “trembling giants”. The most amazing thing is that a total of more than 47,000 “shaky” poplar trees, covering an area of 0.42 km2 and weighing 5.9 million kg, all come from the same root and they all use the same gene and create one. an asexual forest more than 80,000 years old. In addition, it is known as the largest and oldest creature in the world.
But there is the fact that the world’s oldest living organism lacks genetic diversity and is consequently dying. After studying trembling poplars, a team led by Paul Rogers, an associate professor at Utah State University, discovered that 80% of poplar trees were and were in danger. The culprits are still the influences from the development and expansion of human activities.
The researchers measured the health of each part of Pando by calculating the number of live and dead trees, the number of newly born branches and stems, and the faeces of the animals in the area. Results showed that the deer had the greatest impact on the health of the forest. They often have the habit of eating new shoots and new poplars and making the forest grow old because young trees cannot grow and develop, which means that old poplar trees will gradually grow. die and cannot produce any more new plants.
Why has this happened until now? The answer is still influenced by people. In the early 20th century, humans killed large numbers of deer predators such as wolves and grizzly in this area and turned it into a camping area and turned it into a deer paradise.
That has contributed to the continuous increase in the number of deer deer, the young rhizomes of the poplar trees trembling with which they are destroyed, so most of the forest now has no young trees or poplars of the age group “. middle-aged “, all that’s left are old poplars. Comparing aerial photos in this area over the past 72 years also confirms this is entirely true.
As a result, the growing Pando areas have been shrinking over the past decades. More precisely, in the last 30 – 40 years, Pando’s fertility was no longer fast enough to replace large dead trees, and not enough to resist the devastating speed of herbivores.
And finally the rescue for the oldest and oldest creature has begun. People erected a fence around a part of the land in 2013 and did not allow deer to come near to destroy the young trees.
In just a few years, thousands of new stems have grown to a height of 3.6 to 4.5 meters. But in half of the places where there are no fences, the bad situation continues. Some time later, the situation did not get better as fenced areas were gradually destroyed, estimating that about 30% of the fenced area was destroyed by deer. through an umbrella at an altitude of 2.4 meters.
Scientists have come up with a number of solutions to protect poplar trees, such as using hunters to reduce the number of herbivores, using natural enemies but it does not seem to be approved by the community because there will be many problems. balance the native fauna. Currently, scientists are looking for another option that is … fencing. However, this is not the best solution because many herbivores can still jump very high over the fence.
It seems that human activities have a great impact on nature. A seemingly common behavior like hunting, killing wolves and grizzly, almost killed the world’s oldest creature. What about deforestation and destroying wildlife? How many lives will die of human expansion? Scientists are currently unable to find the optimal way to save this “creature” as it gets older.