Skip to Main Content
Calcium and aluminum impacts on sugar maple physiology in a northern hardwood forestAuthor(s): Joshua M. Halman; Paul G. Schaberg; Gary J. Hawley; Linda H. Pardo; Timothy J. Fahey
Source: Tree Physiology. 33(11): 1242-1251.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (432.11 KB)
DescriptionForests of northeastern North America have been exposed to anthropogenic acidic inputs for decades, resulting in altered cation relations and disruptions to associated physiological processes in multiple tree species, including sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.). In the current study, the impacts of calcium (Ca) and aluminum (Al) additions on mature sugar maple physiology were evaluated at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (Thornton, NH, USA) to assess remediation (Ca addition) or exacerbation (Al addition) of current acidified conditions. Fine root cation concentrations and membrane integrity, carbon (C) allocation, foliar cation concentrations and antioxidant activity, foliar response to a spring freezing event and reproductive ability (flowering, seed quantity, filled seed and seed germination) were evaluated for dominant sugar maple trees in a replicated plot study. Root damage and foliar antioxidant activity were highest in Al-treated trees, while growth-associated C, foliar re-flush following a spring frost and reproductive ability were highest in Ca-treated trees. In general, we found that trees on Ca-treated plots preferentially used C resources for growth and reproductive processes, whereas Al-treated trees devoted C to defense-based processes. Similarities between Al-treated and control trees were observed for foliar cation concentrations, C partitioning and seed production, suggesting that sugar maples growing in native forests may be more stressed than previously perceived. Our experiment suggests that disruption of the balance of Ca and Al in sugar maples by acid deposition continues to be an important driver of tree health.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationHalman, Joshua M.; Schaberg, Paul G.; Hawley, Gary J.; Pardo, Linda H.; Fahey, Timothy J. 2013. Calcium and aluminum impacts on sugar maple physiology in a northern hardwood forest. Tree Physiology. 33(11): 1242-1251.
Keywordsacid deposition, antioxidant activity, carbon partitioning, cations, frost injury, Hubbard Brook, membrane integrity, reproductive capacity
- Widespread sugar maple decline and regeneration failure in the Adirondacks
- A sugar maple planting study in Vermont
- Maturation of sugar maple seed
XML: View XML