In the next one hundred years New England’s cooler regions may no longer promote the growth of sugar maples, which are well adapted to the region’s current climate. The change in climate will support species that now grow to the south of New England and in lower elevations, especially oaks and southern pines. Additionally, there will be the threat of non-native species, both insect pests and invasive plant species which may take over the forests.
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The Acer Climate and Socio-Ecological Research Network (ACERnet) formed recently to study climate impacts on sugar maple and maple syrup production. With funding from the Department of Interior Northeast Climate Science Center, we are focusing our research on the relationship between sap quality and climate, and how producers can and are adapting to climate variability and change.
This report summarizes the results from a survey to document respondent’s experience of changes within maple syrup operations and sugar maple (acer saccharum) ecosystems, including potential changes to regulations, technologies and climate.
Maple Watch is studying sap to investigate environmental impacts of climate change on sugar maples.