Factors associated with the decline disease of sugar maple on the Allegheny Plateau
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Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 30: 1365-1378.
Mortality of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) has reached unusually high levels across northern Pennsylvania since the early to mid-1980s. We evaluated the influence of glaciation, topographic position, foliage chemistry, defoliation history, and stand characteristics (species composition, structure, density) on the health of sugar maple in 43 stands at 19 sites on the northern Allegheny Plateau. Using percent dead sugar maple basal area as the measure of health, we found that all moderately to severely declining stands were on unglaciated summits, shoulders, or upper backslopes. Stands on glaciated sites and unglaciated lower topographic positions were not declining. The most important factors associated with sugar maple health were foliar levels of Mg and Mn and defoliation history. The lowest foliar Mg, highest foliar Mn, and highest number and severity of insect defoliations were associated with unglaciated summits, shoulders, and upper backslopes. Declining stands had less than -700 mg·kg-1 Mg and two or more moderate to severe defoliations in the past 10 years; both conditions were associated with moderately to severely declining stands. The decline disease of sugar maple seems to result from an interaction between Mg (and perhaps Mn) nutrition and stress caused by defoliation.
Horsley, Stephen B.; Long, Robert P.; Bailey, Scott W.; Hallett, Richard A.; Hall, Thomas J. 2000. Factors associated with the decline disease of sugar maple on the Allegheny Plateau. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 30: 1365-1378.