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Population dynamics of sugar maple through the southern portion of its range: implications for range migration

The range of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) is expected to shift northward in accord with changing climate. However, a pattern of increased sugar maple abundance has been reported from sites throughout the eastern US. The goal of our study was to examine the stability of the sugar maple southern range boundary by analyzing its demography through the southern extent of its distribution. We analyzed changes in sugar maple basal area, relative frequency, relative density, relative importance values, diameter distributions, and the ratio of sapling biomass to total sugar maple biomass at three spatial positions near the southern boundary of the speciesÕ range using forest inventory data from the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis program over a 20 year observation period (1990Ð2010).