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J Environ Qual. 2002 Nov-Dec;31(6):1993-2000.

Soil and tree-ring chemistry response to liming in a sugar maple stand.

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Direction de la Recherche Forestière, Forêt Quebec, min. des Ressources Naturelles du Quebec, 2700 rue Einstein, Sainte-Foy, QC, Canada G1P 3W8.


An evaluation of the impact of dolomitic lime [CaMg(CO3)2] on soils (five years after treatment) and sapwood chemistry (after four growing seasons) was realized for a Ca-deficient sugar maple stand at the lake Clair watershed. The effect on humus chemistry was significant: exchangeable Mg and Ca, effective acidity (EA), base saturation (BSe), pH, and effective cation exchange capacity (CECe) significantly increased, while exchangeable Fe significantly decreased. In the B horizon, liming increased exchangeable Ca, Mg, and Mn concentrations while decreasing other acid cations. No significant temporal trends in element concentrations in tree rings could be detected, although the lime treatment significantly changed the average xylem Mg and Mn concentrations as well as the average Mg/Mn and Ca/Mn ratios of the sapwood. The absence of temporal trends in rings from the last 20 yr implied a significant re-equilibration of elements through the sapwood. Significant relationships were found between averaged xylem Ca/Mn and Mg/Mn ratios and exchangeable humus Ca, Mg, Mn, Al, Fe, and H+ concentration, EA, CECe, and BSe, suggesting that the average xylem Ca/Mn and Mg/Mn ratios are strong indicators of the soil acid-base status.

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