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Seed production of sugar maple and American beech in northern hardwood forests, New Hampshire, USA

Cleavitt, Natalie L., Fahey, Timothy J.
Canadian journal of forest research = 2017 v.47 no.7 pp. 985-990
Acer saccharum subsp. saccharum, Fagus grandifolia, calcium, crops, hardwood forests, landscapes, prediction, seed productivity, soil, sowing, summer, temperature, trees, weather, wildlife, New Hampshire
Mast seeding is the synchronous production of large seed crops in plant populations and for many tree species is known to be determined by the interaction between weather cues and internal plant resources. We use a 24-year record of seedfall for sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) across a northern hardwood forest landscape to quantify their masting patterns and explore the relationship between mast years, resources, and weather cues, particularly the difference between summer temperatures in the two years prior to the seedfall year (ΔT). We found clear evidence of masting in these species, and mast years were often coincident in the two species; masting was best predicted by ΔT or ΔT plus previous-year seedfall. We saw no evidence for correspondence of masting in these trees to precipitation cues. A soil calcium addition modified elevation effects on seed production. Clarification of the controls on mast seeding for these important tree species will aid in predicting such resources as mast for wildlife and maple sugar production in northern hardwood forests.