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Influence of nutrition and stress on sugar maple at a regional scale

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Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36(9):2235-2246


Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) decline disease on the Allegheny Plateau (region 1) resulted in high levels of mortality during the 1990s. Sugar maple was predisposed to decline because of an imbalance in Mg, Ca, and Mn nutrition and incited to decline by repeated defoliation. We sampled 33 stands in New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire (region 2) to determine if this model of sugar maple decline applies to a broader region. Low Ca and Mg and higher Mn levels were correlated with poorer tree health in both regions, but region 2 stands had little defoliation and few dead trees, suggesting that both unbalanced nutrition and stress are required for mortality to occur. We predict that stands with low foliar Ca and Mg and high Mn levels would incur increased mortality if stressed. In region 2, relationships between Ca, Mg, and Mn levels and dieback suggested that impacts on sugar maple may be caused by nutritional imbalance alone. Partial correlation analysis suggests that antagonism between Mg and Mn is the most important nutritional factor in region 1, while Mn supply is most important in region 2. We suggest that more research is needed on the interacting roles played by Ca, Mg, Al, and Mn in sugar maple performance.


Hallett, Richard A.; Bailey, Scott W.; Horsley, Stephen B.; Long, Robert P. 2006. Influence of nutrition and stress on sugar maple at a regional scale. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36(9):2235-2246

Last updated on: March 30, 2007