Date of Award

12-14-2020

Semester of Degree

December

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Forest and Natural Resources Management

Department

Environmental and Forest Biology

Major Professor

John Drake

Steering Committee Member

Greg Lawrence

Steering Committee Member

Colin Beier

Abstract

Acidic deposition is a major anthropogenic disturbance which has had a detrimental and long- lasting impacts on forests in the northeastern United States. While acidic deposition has known effects on forests, the mechanistic effects on tree physiology are not understood. We examine the effects of acidic deposition on northeastern forests in two ways: (1) we measure foliar respiration and chemistry of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia) to gauge the impacts on tree metabolism, (2) we examine the radial growth response of three under studied northern hardwood species to a watershed liming treatment. Our results suggest (1) foliar chemistry is strongly impacted by acidification, but foliar respiration is not and (2) radial growth of American beech, red maple (Acer rubrum) and red spruce (Picea rubens) does not respond significantly to liming. These results contribute to our understanding of how Northern hardwood forests have been impacted by acidic deposition.

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