Acid deposition induced losses of calcium (Ca) from northeastern forests have had negative effects on forest health for decades, including the mobilization of potentially phytotoxic aluminum (Al) from soils. To evaluate the impact of changes in Ca and Al availability on sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) growth and forest composition following a major ice storm in 1998, we measured xylem annual increment, foliar cation concentrations, American beech root sprouting, and tree mortality at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (Thornton, New Hampshire) in control plots and in plots amended with Ca or Al (treated plots) beginning in 1995.
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Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) is a keystone species in the northern hardwood forest, and decline episodes have negatively affected the growth and health of sugar maple in portions of its range over the past 50+ years. Crown health, growth, survival, and flower and seed production of sugar maple were negatively affected by a widespread decline event in the mid-1980s on the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau in northern Pennsylvania. A long-term liming study was initiated in 1985 to evaluate responses to a one-time application of 22.4 MgáhaÐ1 of dolomitic limestone in four northern hardwood stands.
Ice storms and resulting injury to tree crowns occur frequently En North America, Reaction of land managers to injury caused by the regional ice storm of January 1998 had the potential to accelerate the harvesting of northern hardwoods due to concern about the future loss of wood production by injured trees. To assess the effect of this storm on radial stem growth, increment cores were collected from northern hardwood trees categorized by crown injury classes. For a total of 347 surviving canopy dominant and subdominant trees, a radial growth index was calculated (mean annual increment for 1999-2000 divided by the mean annual increment for 1995-1997).
We surveyed and wounded forest-grown sugar maple (Acer sacchamm Marsh.) trees in a long-term, replicated Ca manipulation study at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, USA. Plots received applications of Ca (to boost Ca availability above depleted ambient levels) or A1 (to compete with Ca uptake and further reduce Ca availability). We found significantly greater total foliar and membrane-associated Ca in foliage of trees in plots fertilized with Ca when compared with trees from Al-addition and control plots (P = 0.005).
Sapling sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) trees were defoliated artificially at 10-day intervals beginning May 27 and ending August 5, 1981. Refoliation, terminal bud and shoot development, and xylem starch and sap sugar concentration were observed in defoliated and control trees. All defoliated trees refoliated, but decreasingly with later defoliation. Defoliation caused an acceleration in the rate of primordia initiation in terminal shoot apices. After early season defoliations, the developing buds in the axils of the removed leaves abscissed, but axillary and terminal buds on the refoliated terminal shoots survived through winter. In late season defoliation, most buds of refoliated shoots did not survive and the next year’s growth depended on axillary buds formed prior to defoliation. Thus, when progressing from early to late defoliations, the next year’s shoot growth depended decreasingly on the last-formed and increasingly on the first-formed portions of the previous year’s shoot. Early October starch concentration in xylem decreased with later defoliation and was nearly absent in shoots and roots of trees defoliated in late July. There was not, however, a corresponding decrease in sap sugar concentration. Mortality occurred only in late defoliated trees and was associated with starch depletion.