Plant Responses to Climatic Warming
Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory


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Temperature Adjustments in Sugar Maple:
Implications for Forest Succession in a Warmer Climate


Evaluate short- and long-term homeostatic temperature adjustments in sugar maple, relating physiological adjustments to genetic differentiation in populations from across the distribution range.


(click to enlarge)
Seed sources Sugar maple seeds were collected from three locations across the species' range: Rhinelander Wisconsin, Batavia Illinois, and Oak Ridge Tennessee.

Physiological acclimation to warmer temperatures was a bigger factor in these sugar maples than were population-level adaptations to temperature, perhaps because of a high degree of gene flow among populations. Marginal populations displayed more within-region variability than did the central population, suggesting that these populations may contain the genetic diversity required for adaptation to climatic change.


Project Personnel

Richard J. Norby, principal investigator
Carla A. Gunderson
Jerry Tuskan
Lee Gunter

Student participants
Lisa Wiggins
Mike Battaglia

Project Publications

Gunderson, C. A., R. J. Norby, and L. Wiggins. 1995. Temperature adjustments in sugar maple-acclimation and adaptation of photosynthesis and respiration. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America (Suppl.) 76:102.

Norby, R. J., K. Ogle, P. S. Curtis, F.-W. Badeck, A. Huth, G. C. Hurtt, T. Kohyama, and J. Pe˝uelas. 2001. Aboveground growth and competition in forest gap models: An analysis for studies of climatic change. Climatic Change 51: 415-447. [abstract]

Gunderson, C. A., R. J. Norby, R. J., and S. D. Wullschleger. 2000. Acclimation of photosynthesis and respiration to simulated climatic warming in northern and southern populations of Acer saccharum: laboratory and field evidence. Tree Physiology 20: 87-96. [abstract]  | 

Gunter, L. E., G. A. Tuskan, C. A. Gunderson, and R. J. Norby. 2000. Genetic variation and spatial structure in sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and implications for predicted global-scale environmental change. Global Change Biology 6: 335-344. [abstract]  | 

Maple forest - seed source
Maple seeds

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Last revised: January 15, 2005