Comment on "Long-term decline of sugar maple following forest harvest, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire"
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Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Cleavitt et al. (2018, Can. J. For. Res. 48(1): 23–31, doi:10.1139/cjfr-2017-0233) report a lack of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) regeneration in Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), Watershed 5 (W5), following whole-tree clearcut harvesting and purport that harvesting-induced soil calcium depletion contributed to regeneration failure of this species. In New England, clearcutting is a silvicultural strategy used to promote less tolerant species, especially birch (Betula spp.; Marquis (1969), Birch Symposium Proceedings, USDA Forest Service; Leak et al. (2014), doi:10.2737/NRS-GTR-132), which is just the outcome that the authors report. While this study reports an impressive, long-term data set, given broad interest in sugar maple and sustainability of forest management practices, we feel that it is critical to more fully explore the role of nutrition on sugar maple dynamics, both prior to and during the experiment, and to more fully review the scientific record on the role of whole-tree clearcutting in nutrient-induced sugar maple dynamics.
Bailey, Scott W.; Long, Robert P.; Horsley, Stephen B. 2019. Comment on "Long-term decline of sugar maple following forest harvest, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire". Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 49(7): 861-862. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2018-0207.