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Sugar maple growth in relation to nutrition and stress in the northeastern United States

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.