Aspen trees are known to reproduce asexually through its roots. The young trees are called clones of the parent tree. Genetically, they are identical – same DNA, same genes that would code for their outside appearance, called the phenotype. It is therefore safe to conclude that aspen trees from a single stand would belong to the same parent tree, thus sharing the same genetic codes. It is then logically correct to believe that these trees would also look alike in terms of their outside appearance, or their phenotype.
But still, it can’t be evaded that little differences between these clones are to be noticed. We must remember that an organism’s external appearance is not dictated alone by its genetic content. For one, not all genes are expressed in the organism’s phenotype. These may be explained by several factors such as possible mutations, disruptions and disorder in the translation processes of these genes. Furthermore, the environment plays a big role in shaping the trees’ phenotypes.
Factors such as water absorption, availability of nutrients, amount of sunlight and clean air would greatly affect the growth and form of these trees. Thus, organisms of the same genotype are not necessarily expected to have the same phenotype. In conclusion, although they are genetically identical, we can still expect one aspen tree in a stand to differ slightly from another tree found in the same stand in terms of their phenotypes.