Effects of nitrogen and calcium on photosynthesis and metabolic activity in Acer saccharum in the Catskill Mountains

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Date
2008-03-31
Authors
Behling, Shawna Joy
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Sullivan, Joseph H
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Abstract
The Catskill Mountains in southern New York have received some of the most acidic rainfall in the country for the past 50 years. Acid deposition on these thin soils may deplete the concentration of calcium and other essential ions in the soil solution and mobilize other ions that can be harmful to sugar maple (Acer saccharum) rooting systems. The effects of fertilizers on the metabolism and photosynthesis rates of sugar maple are of great interest to both farmers and ecologists. In this study, 12 plots in a 60-year-old sugar maple dominated forest were treated with no fertilizer, nitrogen, calcium, or nitrogen and calcium together. Photosynthesis was measured with a LiCor 6400. Metabolic heat rate was measured with a MC-DSC calorimeter. While some sampling periods showed significant responses to some treatments, the study as a whole suggests the addition of calcium and/or nitrogen had minimal effects on photosynthesis or metabolism.
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