Sugar maple, an abundant and highly valued tree species in eastern North America, has experienced decline from soil calcium (Ca) depletion by acidic deposition, while beech, which often coexists with sugar maple, has been afflicted with beech bark disease (BBD) over the same period. To investigate how variations in soil base saturation combine with effects of BBD in influencing stand composition and structure, measurements of soils, canopy, subcanopy, and seedlings were taken in 21 watersheds in the Adirondack region of NY (USA), where sugar maple and beech were the predominant canopy species and base saturation of the upper B horizon ranged from 4.4 to 67%.
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Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) decline disease, decreased growth, and regeneration failure have been related to a low supply of Ca and Mg. There is increased interest in augmenting cation availability via liming, but there is little information on the amounts of lime required and the longevity of the lime treatment. A single application of 22.4 Mg ha-1 of dolomitic limestone in 1985 at four forested sites in Potter County, PA has shown that soil, soil water, and sugar maple foliage chemistry are significantly altered by liming and the changes in soils and foliage persist as long as 21-yr post-treatment. By 2001, only 3 kg ha-1 of lime remained undissolved while increases in exchangeable Ca and Mg, and pH continued through 2006 at depths up to 35 to 45 cm.
Sugar maple, Acer saccharum, decline disease is incited by multiple disturbance factors when imbalanced calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and manganese (Mn) act as predisposing stressors. Our objective in this study was to determine whether factors affecting sugar maple health also affect growth as estimated by basal area increment (BAI). We used 76 northern hardwood stands in northern Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire, USA, and found that sugar maple growth was positively related to foliar concentrations of Ca and Mg and stand level estimates of sugar maple crown health during a high stress period from 1987 to 1996. Foliar nutrient threshold values for Ca, Mg, and Mn were used to analyze long-term BAI trends from 1937 to 1996. Significant (P <= 0.05) nutrient threshold-by-time interactions indicate changing growth in relation to nutrition during this period.
We compared tree growth and crown condition with soil and foliar elemental composition in 14 sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) stands in VT, USA, to evaluate if deficiencies or imbalances in cation nutrition were associated with growth and health reductions in native stands. The Till Source Model (TSM) was used to select study sites potentially high or low in calcium (Ca) by predicting the relative Ca concentration of soil parent material derived from glacial till. The TSM successfully identified high or low levels of soil Ca (P = 0.031) and foliar Ca (P = 0.011) among stands.