Long-term calcium addition increases growth release, wound closure, and health of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) trees at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest
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Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37:1692-1700
We surveyed and wounded forest-grown sugar maple (Acer saccharum 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 A1-addition and control plots (P = 0.005). Coinciding with foliar Ca differences, trees exhibited a significant difference in crown vigor and in percent branch dieback among treatments (P < 0.05), with a trend towards improved canopy health as Ca levels increased. Annual basal area increment growth for the years following treatment initiation (1998-2004) was significantly greater in trees subjected to Ca addition compared with trees in control and A1 treatments. Treatment-related improvements in growth were particularly evident after overstory release following a 1998 ice storm. The amount of wound closure was also greatest for trees in Ca-addition plots relative to A1-addition and control plots (P = 0.041). These findings support evidence that ambient Ca depletion is an important limiting factor regarding sugar maple health and highlight the influence of Ca on wound closure and growth following release from competition.
Huggett, Brett A.; Schaberg, Paul G.; Hawley, Gary J.; Eager, Christopher. 2007. Long-term calcium addition increases growth release, wound closure, and health of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) trees at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37:1692-1700