Long-Term Effects of Forest Liming on Soil, Soil Leachate, and Foliage Chemistry in Northern Pennsylvania

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.

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