Effects of acidic deposition and soil acidification on sugar maple trees in the Adirondack Mountains, New York

Environmental Science & Technology
By: , and 

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Abstract

We documented the effects of acidic atmospheric deposition and soil acidification on the canopy health, basal area increment, and regeneration of sugar maple (SM) trees across the Adirondack region of New York State, in the northeastern United States, where SM are plentiful but not well studied and where widespread depletion of soil calcium (Ca) has been documented. Sugar maple is a dominant canopy species in the Adirondack Mountain ecoregion, and it has a high demand for Ca. Trees in this region growing on soils with poor acid–base chemistry (low exchangeable Ca and % base saturation [BS]) that receive relatively high levels of atmospheric sulfur and nitrogen deposition exhibited a near absence of SM seedling regeneration and lower crown vigor compared with study plots with relatively high exchangeable Ca and BS and lower levels of acidic deposition. Basal area increment averaged over the 20th century was correlated (p < 0.1) with acid–base chemistry of the Oa, A, and upper B soil horizons. A lack of Adirondack SM regeneration, reduced canopy condition, and possibly decreased basal area growth over recent decades are associated with low concentrations of nutrient base cations in this region that has undergone soil Ca depletion from acidic deposition.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effects of acidic deposition and soil acidification on sugar maple trees in the Adirondack Mountains, New York
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/es401864w
Volume 47
Issue 22
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher ACS Publications
Publisher location Easton, PA
Contributing office(s) New York Water Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 12687
Last page 12694
Country United States
State New York
Other Geospatial Adirondack Mountains
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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