Aspens in Snow
We typically think of aspens as white, but here in the steep, deeply shadowed valleys of the Rocky Mountains, a broader spectrum of coloration is evinced. The bright white normally associated with the aspen is actually just a powder of dead, dry cells which act as a natural sunscreen and can be shed to allow more sunlight to the inner layers of bark which contain substantial amounts of chlorophyll.
This bark chlorophyll – the most of any tree, in fact – produces energy throughout long, dark winters, allowing the aspen to survive at the highest altitudes and northernmost latitudes of any deciduous tree. Perhaps unsurprisingly, aspens with stronger coloration have been found to be more winter hardy, as with this deep green stand at 8,000 feet in the Uncompahgre National Forest near Telluride, Colorado.
The three individual trees in this image with the pink, brown and missing bark have fallen victim to a fungal infection called cryptosphaeria canker. As with anything else in nature, the fungus plays an important role in the delicate and complex balance of a healthy ecosystem. Although the disease can quickly get out of control in stressed populations, small numbers of such standing dead trees provide important habitat for the cavity-dwelling inhabitants of the forest including birds, bats and other small mammals.
Image Dimensions: 5433 x 3622
Location Georeference: 37.8653, -107.8781
TO LICENSE THIS IMAGE
Select the intended use in the license box, then add the image to your cart. Checkout and pay by credit card or PayPal. You will receive a link to the high-resolution image by email immediately upon checkout.
- Non-Profit License: For use by registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Non-profit licenses are available to conservation organizations free of charge. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an access code. Federal, state and local governments may use the non-profit license for non-commercial applications.
- Editorial License: For use by book publishers, magazines, newspapers or websites for educational or journalistic purposes only. May not be used in commercial advertising.
- Commercial License: For use in commercial advertising or any use related to the sale or promotion of a product, service or idea.
Questions? Email email@example.com or call 970.239.1236.