Soil Base Saturation Combines with Beech Bark Disease to Influence Composition and Structure of Sugar Maple-Beech Forests in an Acid Rain-Impacted Region

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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