Abstract Detail



Poster Session

Taylor, Dakota [1], Huish, Ryan [1], Peters, Jacob [2], Allen, Skyler [2], Munson, Benjamin [2], Dellis, Katlin [3], Stanley, Conner  [2].

Assessing a Strategy of Climate Change Adaptation for Maple Syrup Producers in the Southern Appalachians: Diversification of Maple Species as Sap Sources .

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) is a key cultural and ecological resource from northeastern Canada to the southern Appalachians. Following current projections of climate change, however, this cultural icon may be threatened with population range shifts, decreased health, lower sap volume, and inferior sap quality. This may be particularly relevant in the southern extent of its range in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, where this research is being performed. To help adapt to these changes, some maple syrup producers have begun tapping alternative maple species that are more resilient to climate change, including Red Maple (Acer rubrum L.), Boxelder (Acer negundo L.), or Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum L.), which is then combined with the Sugar Maple sap during processing. More detailed research needs to be performed on these alternative maple species to help define the effects this adaptation strategy may have on the final product. Beginning spring 2016, data on sap volume, quality, and sugar content for each of these four maple species were collected from two sites in Wise County, Virginia. An additional eight sites focusing only on sap quality are located in the Appalachian region of Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina, totaling more than 100 taps. Sugar content was quantified in units of Brix using a field refractometer. Sap quality is currently being measured by analyzing antioxidants and total phenolic concentration using HPLC and spectrophotometry. Results show that Box Elder has the highest sap yield when compared to other species (average 24 liters per tap) and Sugar Maple and Silver Maple had the highest average sugar concentrations throughout the season (both 1.6 Brix). Results thus far justify continued research and suggest that diversifying maple species as sap sources may be a viable strategy of climate change adaptation for maple syrup producers. 


1 - The University of Virginia's College at Wise, Department of Natural Resources, 1 College Ave., Wise, Virginia, 24293, United States
2 - The University of Virginia's College at Wise, Department of Natural Resources, 1 College Ave., Wise, VA, 24293, USA
3 - The University of Virginia's College at Wise, Department of Natural Resources, Wise, VA, 24293, USA

Keywords:
Maple Syrup
Climate Change
Southern Appalachia.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number:
Abstract ID:90
Candidate for Awards:Julia F. Morton Award