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Climate Change & Maple

Dr. Tim Perkins (Director-University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center) discusses the intimate relationship between weather and maple sap flow, changing climatic conditions have the potential to affect the maple industry in a variety of ways. This presentation describes research that has been conducted on climate change and maple as well as new ongoing work, and describe some possible effects of changing climate on the future of the industry in the northeast.

Managing for a Healthy Sugarbush in a Changing Climate

Severe and extreme weather has significant impacts on sugar maples. This article discusses how to look for signs of stress, and how to manage sugarbushes for resilience.

Managing for delicious ecosystem service under climate change: can United States sugar maple (Acer saccharum) syrup production be maintained in a warming climate?

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is a highly valued tree in United States (US) and Canada, and its sap when collected from taps and concentrated, makes a delicious syrup. Understanding how this resource may be impacted by climate change and other threats is essential to continue management for maple syrup into the future. Here, we evaluate the current distribution of maple syrup production across twenty-three states within the US and estimate the current potential sugar maple resource based on tree inventory data. We model and project the potential habitat responses of sugar maple using a species distribution model with climate change under two future General Circulation Models (GCM) and emission scenarios and three time periods (2040, 2070, 2100).

Maple Syrup Producers of the Lake States, USA: Attitudes Towards and Adaptation to Social, Ecological, and Climate Conditions

Maple syrup is an important non-timber forest product derived from the sap of the sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marshall). However, maple syrup producers are facing a diversity of challenges, including: potential range shifts in the maple resource; increasing variability in the timing, duration and yield of sap flow and syrup operations; invasive species, pests and diseases; and intergenerational land and business transfer challenges. Members of Maple Syrup Producer Associations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan were surveyed to learn about their operations, adaptation strategies, concerns, and information needs.

Population dynamics of sugar maple through the southern portion of its range: implications for range migration

The range of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) is expected to shift northward in accord with changing climate. However, a pattern of increased sugar maple abundance has been reported from sites throughout the eastern US. The goal of our study was to examine the stability of the sugar maple southern range boundary by analyzing its demography through the southern extent of its distribution. We analyzed changes in sugar maple basal area, relative frequency, relative density, relative importance values, diameter distributions, and the ratio of sapling biomass to total sugar maple biomass at three spatial positions near the southern boundary of the speciesÕ range using forest inventory data from the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis program over a 20 year observation period (1990Ð2010).

The complex relationship between climate and sugar maple health: Climate change implications in Vermont for a key northern hardwood species

This study compared 141 ecologically relevant climate metrics to field assessments of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) canopy condition across Vermont, USA from 1988 to 2012. After removing the influence of disturbance events during this time period to isolate the impact of climate, we identified five climate metrics that were significantly related to sugar maple crown condition. While three of these are monthly summary metrics commonly used in climate analyses (minimum April, August and October temperatures), two are novel metrics designed to capture extreme climate events (periods of unusual warmth in January and August). The proportion of climate-driven variability in canopy condition is comparable to the proportion accounted for by defoliating pests and other disturbance events.