Changing Climate May Substantially Alter Maple Syrup Production Print E-mail
Thursday September 13, 2012

Featured by USDA, a member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program

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Hiawatha National Forest on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Credit: Department of Agriculture, U. S. Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service research indicates that climate change will affect habitat suitability for maple trees, threatening the multimillion dollar maple syrup industry. Changes in climate have already had an impact on the iconic sugar maple trees of the Northeastern U.S.

Climate stressors may decrease the availability of maple syrup or shift production northward by the end of the next century because of direct changes in temperature, decreases in snowpack or increases in weather disturbances such as ice storms.

“Climate change will produce winners and losers geographically. Folks who retrieve sap from maple trees in the far Northeastern region will get a longer sap flow season while those in the Southeastern regions will see a reduction,” said Dave Cleaves, Climate Change Advisor for the Forest Service. Read more