Thirty-year effects of liming on soil and foliage chemistry and growth of northern hardwoods in Pennsylvania, USA
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Canadian Journal of Forest Research
The longevity of a single 22.4 Mg·ha-1 application of dolomitic limestone at four northern hardwood stands was evaluated over 30 years (1986–2016) to determine whether changes in soils, foliage, and tree growth were sustained on the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau in northern Pennsylvania, USA. In limed plots, soils, sampled to 45–55 cm depth, and sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.) foliage had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) greater concentrations of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) through 2016 compared with samples from unlimed plots. Ca and Mg capitals (g·m-2) in the Oi through A horizons combined were greater on limed plots than unlimed plots, largely due to increases in the thickness and nutrient concentration in the A horizon. Over 30 years, sugar maple basal area increment (cm2·year-1 BAINC) was greater in limed plots (30.6 cm2·year-1 vs unlimed 13.3), American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) BAINC was unaffected by lime application, and black cherry BAINC was reduced in limed plots compared with unlimed plots. The sustained effect of this one-time lime treatment shows the strong role of efficient nutrient cycling in forests and suggests that the benefits over a substantial portion of a stand rotation may increase the feasibility of operational liming.
Keywordsforest liming; base cations; exchangeable calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg); percent carbon (C) and nitrogen (N); basal area increment; sugar maple; American beech; black cherry
Long, Robert P.; Bailey, Scott W.; Horsley, Stephen B.; Hall, Thomas J. 2022. Thirty-year effects of liming on soil and foliage chemistry and growth of northern hardwoods in Pennsylvania, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 52(4): 539-552. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2021-0246.