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    Red maple (Acer rubrum L.), historically a common but not abundant tree species in North America, has increased in abundance throughout its range over the last several decades; however, it has received little attention in growth and yield studies. The objectives of this study were to (i) evaluate the effects of stocking level and stand density on overall patterns of red maple stand productivity and (ii) quantify these relationships across a wide range of stand age, site quality, geographic location, and climatic conditions. We used long-term measurements from 52 sites in Wisconsin and Michigan to examine growth responses of even-aged red maple stands to various levels of thinning. Using linear, mixed-effects modeling, future stand-level red maple basal area was modeled as a function of stand and plot characteristics and climatic variables. Growing season precipitation and its interaction with initial red maple basal area were significant predictors; however, they only collectively reduced the mean squared error by 2.1% relative to a base model containing solely stand and plot factors. Model projections indicated there was little difference in predicted future basal area for the range of climate conditions experienced by these stands highlighting red maple’s wide tolerance of environmental conditions across the region.

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    Pszwaro, Justin L.; D'mato, Anthony W.; Burk, Thomas E.; Russell, Matthew B.; Palik, Brian J.; Strong, Terry F. 2016. Analysis of stand basal area development of thinned and unthinned Acer rubrum forests in the upper Great Lakes region, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 46(5): 645-655.


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    Acer rubrum, basal area growth, climate, Great Lakes region

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