Overview

Brief Summary

The genus Acer (maples) includes approximately 125 species of trees and shrubs distributed through Asia, North America, Europe, and Northern Africa (van Geldren et al. 2010). The genus is characterized by opposite, palmately lobed leaves, and a distinctive fruit, a samara, formed of pair of nutlets with stiff, fibrous papery wings that aid in wind dispersal. Children have long referred to samaras as helicopters or whirlybirds; researchers have recently shown that the wings do provide a helicopter-like lift to seeds dispersed in a wind tunnel, as shown in this video by David Lentink available from Caltech (Svitil 2009; Lentink et al. 2009).

Maples have diverse cultural uses and economic importance. They are widely planted as ornamentals and street trees, with thousands of horticultural varieties and cultivars propagated by cuttings, tissue culture, budding or grafting. A. palmatum (Japanese maple) alone has 350 cultivars that are grown in Europe and North America (Vertrees and Gregroy 2009). Acer platanoides (Norway maple) is popular in urban areas because it is fast-growing and cold-resistant, but it is invasive in Eastern North America.

Maples are so diverse and popular that numerous arboretums around the world feature them in special collections known as aceretums. Maples are a popular choice for the art of bonsai. Viewing the dramatic autumn foliage of maples has spawned traditions and supported tourist industries in countries ranging from Japan and Korea (where the custom is called “momijigari” and “Danpung-Nori,” respectively, Wikipedia 2011) to “leaf-peeping” in southeastern Canada, the Northeastern and Northwestern United States, and British Columbia.

Maples were an important source of sugar and winter nutrition for natives of North America before European settlement (Henshaw 1890), and production of maple syrup continues to be a multimillion dollar industry in the U.S. and Canada (NASS 2011). Many maples, including A. macrophyllum,A. rubrum and A. saccharinum, contain sugars and can be used for syrup, but the sap of A. saccharum (sugar maple) is most often used because it has the highest sucrose content (2–8%). It takes approximately 40 liters of sap to make 1 liter of syrup. The sap of A. pseudoplatanus has been made into a sweet fermented beverage in some parts of Europe [Hedrick 1919]). Maple seeds and even leaves can be eaten, along with the inner bark (Plants for a Future 2011).

Maple wood is valuable commercially for uses including fine cabinetry, flooring, musical instruments, and many more. (See Uses in full entry.)

Maples are dominant or abundant in several North American forest types. In 2002, two maple species (A. rubrum and A. saccharum) were among the top 10 most common tree species in the U.S. (FIA 2011). Maple seeds, buds, leaves, and flowers serve as food for dozens of species of birds and small mammals (Martin et al. 1951), as well as numerous lepidopteran larvae and aphids. Because maples flower in early spring, their pollen is an important food for Apis mellifera (honeybees) and other insects. Maples are affected by damaging fungal diseases caused by organisms including Verticillium, Cryptostroma species, Phytophthora, and Ganoderma, as well as widespread but less severe infections known as “tar spot” (Rhytisma species), and mildew (Uncinula species).
  • FIA. 2011. Current U.S. forest data and maps. Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved September 12, 2011 from http://fia.fs.fed.us/.
  • Hedrick, U.P. 1919. Sturtevant’s Notes on Edible Plants. State of New York, Dept. of Agriculture, 27th Annual Report, Vol 2., Part II. Albany, NY.
  • Henshaw, H.W. 1890. Indian origins of maple sugar. American Anthropologist 3(4): 341-352.
  • MapleInfo.org. 2011. “Birdseye in sugar maple.” State of Vermont, Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation. Retrieved on September 12, 2011, from http://www.mapleinfo.org/htm/bird.cfm.
  • Lentink, D; Dickson, WB; van Leeuwen, JL; Dickinson, MH. 2009. Leading-edge vortices elevate lift of autorotating plant seeds. Science. 324(5933): 1438-1440.
  • Martin, A.C., H.S. Zin, and A.L. Nelson. 1951. American Wildlife and Plants—A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits. New York: Dover Publications.
  • NASS. 2011. Maple Syrup 2011. A report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. June 13, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011, from http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/New_England_includes/Publications/0605mpl.pdf.
  • Plants for a Future. 2011. Acer saccharum Marshall. Retrieved September 12, 2011, from http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Acer+saccharum.
  • Svitil, K. 2009. Maple seeds and animals exploit the same trick to fly. California Institute of Technology Press Release http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/13265, Accessed June 11, 2011. Included on the EOL page for Acer palmatum: http://eol.org/pages/596824/details/ (under Evolution and Systematics/Functional adaptation).
  • Van Gelderen, D. M., H. J. Oterdoom, and P. C. De Jong. 2010. Maples of the World. Timber Press (OR).
  • Vertrees, J. D., and P.Gregory. 2009. Japanese Maples: The Complete Guide to Selection and Cultivation. Timber Press (OR).
  • Wikipedia. 2011. Maple. (1 Dec 2009). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia., 21:18 UTC. 18 Dec 2009 ">http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Maple&oldid=329112782/"> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Maple&oldid=329112782.
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Comprehensive Description

Description

Trees or shrubs. Latex sometimes milky. Leaves usually palmately lobed (pinnate in A. negundo) with long petioles. Flowers greenish or yellowish. Samaras winged on one side only.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

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Ecology

Associations

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Acrogenospora anamorph of Acrogenospora sphaerocephala is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer

Foodplant / gall
Aculops acericola causes gall of live leaf of Acer
Remarks: season: 4-

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Alysidium anamorph of Alysidium resinae is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed perithecium of Amphisphaeria millepunctata is saprobic on dead twig of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, clypeate perithecium of Apiosporopsis carpinea is saprobic on overwintered, dead leaf of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
subiculate, sessile apothecium of Arachnopeziza aurata is saprobic on inside bark of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-7
Other: minor host/prey

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / pathogen
Armillaria mellea s.l. infects and damages Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
solitary or clustered apothecium of Ascocoryne cylichnium is saprobic on rotting wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-11
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
short-stalked apothecium of Ascotremella faginea is saprobic on fallen branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 7-10
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / gall
larva of Atrichosema aceris causes gall of leaf (midrib base) of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered sporodochium of Bactrodesmium dematiaceous anamorph of Bactrodesmium abruptum is saprobic on dead bark of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-4
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial perithecium of Bertia moriformis var. moriformis is saprobic on dead wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Bisporella sulfurina is saprobic on fallen branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-2

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Acladium anamorph of Botryobasidium conspersum is saprobic on dead bark of Acer

Foodplant / false gall
stromatic pseudothecium of Botryosphaeria obtusa causes swelling of branch of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Brachysporium dematiaceous anamorph of Brachysporium bloxamii is saprobic on rotten bark of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Brachysporium dematiaceous anamorph of Brachysporium obovatum is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Cacumisporium dematiaceous anamorph of Cacumisporium capitulatum is saprobic on dead wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
stromatic, immersed, multi-level perithecium of Camarops lutea is saprobic on dead stump of Acer
Remarks: season: 8-4

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Camposporium dematiaceous anamorph of Camposporium cambrense is saprobic on litter of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Camposporium dematiaceous anamorph of Camposporium pellucidum is saprobic on litter of Acer

Plant / associate
stroma of Capronia nigerrima is associated with fungus-infected wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-4

Foodplant / miner
Cerylon ferrugineum mines cambium of Acer

Plant / associate
subiculate Oedemium dematiaceous anamorph of Chaetosphaerella fusca is associated with diatrypaceous fungus infested, fallen branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-2
Other: minor host/prey

Plant / associate
subiculate perithecium of Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma is associated with fungus infected, fallen branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-4
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Catenularia dematiaceous anamorph of Chaetosphaeria innumera is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
perithecium of Chaetosphaeria myriocarpa is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Menispora dematiaceous anamorph of Chaetosphaeria ovoidea is saprobic on bark of Acer
Remarks: season: mainly winter

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Menispora dematiaceous anamorph of Chaetosphaeria pulviscula is saprobic on dead, often rotten wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-4

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Chalara dematiaceous anamorph of Chalara aurea is saprobic on dead leaf of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Cladosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Cladosporium britannicum is saprobic on dead wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Claussenomyces atrovirens is saprobic on damp, rotting wood of Acer
Remarks: season: mostly 4-6

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, single or paired, beneath clypeus perithecium of Clypeosphaeria mamillana is saprobic on dead twig of Acer
Remarks: season: (1)2-3

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial or partly immersed perithecium of Coniochaeta velutina is saprobic on fallen, dead Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Corynespora dematiaceous anamorph of Corynespora biseptata is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Costantinella dematiaceous anamorph of Costantinella terrestris is saprobic on fallen twig of Acer

Foodplant / open feeder
gregarious larva of Croesus septentrionalis grazes on live leaf edge of Acer
Remarks: season: 5-
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
Crustoderma dryinum is saprobic on decayed wood of Acer

Plant / resting place / on
adult of Cryptocephalus pusillus may be found on Acer
Remarks: season: 5-10

Foodplant / saprobe
sporodochium of Cryptocoryneum dematiaceous anamorph of Cryptocoryneum condensatum is saprobic on dead bark of Acer

Foodplant / pathogen
subcortical colony of Cryptostroma dematiaceous anamorph of Cryptostroma corticale infects and damages subcortex of standing tree of Acer
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / feeds on
erumpent, wart-like, surrounded by torn peridium, pseudolocellate stroma of Cytodiplospora coelomycetous anamorph of Cytodiplospora aceris feeds on Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
thick, more or less effused, nearly black stroma of Cytosporina coelomycetous anamorph of Cytosporina flavovirens is saprobic on dead wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Dactylaria anamorph of Dactylaria candidula is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-4

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Dactylosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Dactylosporium macropus is saprobic on dead branch of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial stroma of Daldinia concentrica is saprobic on Acer
Remarks: Other: uncertain
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / gall
Dasineura acercrispans causes gall of leaf of Acer
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / gall
larva of Dasineura tympani causes gall of leaf of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Haplographium dematiaceous anamorph of Dematioscypha dematiicola is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, often loosely grouped perithecium of Diaporthe eres is saprobic on wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent through stellate fissure, usually numerous stroma of Diatrype disciformis is saprobic on wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-4
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
stromatic, immersed perithecium of Diatrype stigma is saprobic on dead, decorticate or with bark rolling back branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Dictyosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Dictyosporium toruloides is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / feeds on
pycnidium of Diplodia coelomycetous anamorph of Diplodia subtecta feeds on Acer

Foodplant / sap sucker
Drepanosiphum platanoides sucks sap of live bud of Acer
Remarks: season: spring-summer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Endophragmiella anamorph of Endophragmiella boothii is saprobic on dead wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-4

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed perithecium of Endoxyla cirrhosa is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer
Remarks: season: good condition: 4-5

Foodplant / gall
Eriophyes heteronyx causes gall of leaf (petiole) of Acer

Foodplant / gall
Eriophyes macrochelus causes gall of leaf of Acer

Foodplant / gall
Eriophyes macrorhynchus cephalodes causes gall of live leaf of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
stromatic, immersed perithecium of Eutypa flavovirens is saprobic on dead wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, stromatic perithecium of Eutypella scoparia is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-4

Foodplant / saprobe
larva of Ferdinandea is saprobic on sap run of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered, immersed then emerging by fissure or irregular opening stroma of Fusicoccum coelomycetous anamorph of Fusicoccum obtusulum is saprobic on dead bark of Acer
Remarks: season: 4

Foodplant / saprobe
sometimes effuse Gliocladium anamorph of Gliocladium roseum is saprobic on stacked log of Acer
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
hysterothecium of Gloniopsis praelonga is saprobic on dead twig of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed or erumpent perithecium of Gnomonia alni-viridis is saprobic on leaf-litter of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-6

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Graphium dematiaceous anamorph of Graphium calicioides is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Helminthosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Helminthosporium velutinum is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent pseudothecium of Herpotrichia herpotrichoides is saprobic on dead twig of Acer
Remarks: season: 2-6
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
clustered, subiculate pseudothecium of Herpotrichia macrotricha is saprobic on fallen branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-4
Other: minor host/prey

Plant / associate
effuse colony of Heteroconium anamorph of Heteroconium tetracoilum is associated with damp, rotten branch of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked apothecium of Hymenoscyphus calyculus is saprobic on dead, fallen branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 6-12

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked apothecium of Hymenoscyphus caudatus is saprobic on decaying petiole of Acer
Remarks: season: 6-12

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Hymenoscyphus phyllogenus is saprobic on litter of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-11

Foodplant / saprobe
Trichoderma dematiaceous anamorph of Hypocrea aureoviridis is saprobic on dead wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-3

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial stroma of Hypocrea gelatinosa is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 6-12

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Trichoderma dematiaceous anamorph of Hypocrea rufa is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
Geniculosporium anamorph of Hypoxylon howeanum is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-4
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse stroma of Hypoxylon multiforme is saprobic on dead, decorticate branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-4
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
widely effused stroma of Hypoxylon rubiginosum agg. is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
stroma of Hypoxylon vogesiacum is saprobic on dead wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
hysterothecium of Hysterium angustatum is saprobic on dead, decorticate branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 3-5

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Incrupila viridipilosa is saprobic on wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-7

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Ischnodes sanguinicollis feeds within wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
often long-stalked apothecium of Lachnum brevipilosum is saprobic on rotten branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-9

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Lachnum deflexum is saprobic on dead, fallen leaf of Acer
Remarks: season: 11-12

Foodplant / saprobe
long slender stalked apothecium of Lachnum pygmaeum is saprobic on fallen twig of Acer
Remarks: season: 4-10

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial perithecium of Lasiosphaeria canescens is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 11-6

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial, gregarious perithecium of Lasiosphaeria caudata is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 7-8

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial perithecium of Lasiosphaeria hirsuta is saprobic on old wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-4

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial perithecium of Lasiosphaeria ovina is saprobic on Armillaria mellea-decayed wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-4

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial perithecium of Lasiosphaeria phyllophila is saprobic on debris of Acer
Remarks: season: 11-4

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial, closely packed in large clusters perithecium of Lasiosphaeria spermoides is saprobic on rotting wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 11-4

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial apothecium of Lecanidion atratum is saprobic on decorticate wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 3-5

Foodplant / saprobe
thyriothecium of Lichenopeltella nigroannulata is saprobic on overwintered, dead leaf of Acer
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pseudothecium of Lophiostoma nucula is saprobic on wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 4-7

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pycnidium of Coleophoma coelomycetous anamorph of Macrophoma samaricola is saprobic on seed of Acer
Remarks: season: 9

Foodplant / saprobe
larva of Mallota cimbiciformis is saprobic on rot hole of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Mariannaea anamorph of Mariannaea elegans is saprobic on bark of Acer

Foodplant / gall
Massalongia aceris causes gall of leaf of Acer
Other: sole host/prey

Plant / associate
larva of Melangyna cincta is associated with aphid-infested Acer
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
almost entirely immersed or erumpent pseudothecium of Melanomma fuscidulum is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 3-5

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial, often in very large clusters pseudothecium of Melanomma pulvis-pyrius is saprobic on dry, hard, decorticate branch wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Gonytrichum dematiaceous anamorph of Melanopsammella inaequalis is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Chloridium dematiaceous anamorph of Melanopsammella preussii is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 11-5

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Menispora dematiaceous anamorph of Menispora britannica is saprobic on petiole of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-11

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Mollisia cinerea is saprobic on dead wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Mollisia cinerella is saprobic on dead, decorticate wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-8

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Mollisina rubi is saprobic on leaf-litter of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
larva of Myathropa florea is saprobic on rot hole of Acer

Plant / associate
Mycetochara humeralis is associated with Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
hypophyllous, immersed pseudothecia of Mycosphaerella punctiformis is saprobic on overwintered, fallen leaf of Acer
Remarks: season: 4-5

Foodplant / pathogen
Tubercularia anamorph of Nectria cinnabarina infects and damages branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent stroma of Nectria coccinea is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-5

Plant / associate
perithecium of Nectria episphaeria is associated with pyrenomycete infection Acer
Remarks: season: 3-5

Foodplant / saprobe
synnema of Fusarium anamorph of Nectria flavoviridis is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 2-5

Foodplant / pathogen
Nectria galligena infects and damages cankered branch of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
perithecium of Nectria mammoidea var. mammoidea is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
stromatic perithecium of Nectria pallidula is saprobic on dead twig of Acer
Remarks: season: 8-1

Foodplant / saprobe
perithecium of Nectria peziza is saprobic on dead, often rotten stump of Acer
Remarks: season: 8-12

Foodplant / feeds on
Cylindrocarpon anamorph of Nectria radicicola feeds on Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
Myrothecium dematiaceous anamorph of Nectria ralfsii is saprobic on dead, cut or fallen branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-1

Foodplant / saprobe
perithecium of Nectria viridescens is saprobic on bark of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Geniculosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Nemania serpens is saprobic on dead branch of Acer

Plant / associate
perithecium of Nitschkia brevispina is associated with Acer
Remarks: season: 2-4

Plant / associate
perithecium of Nitschkia collapsa is associated with fungus-infested Acer
Remarks: season: 8-3

Foodplant / saprobe
perithecium of Nitschkia cupularis is saprobic on dead, decorticate branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-4

Foodplant / saprobe
perithecium of Nitschkia grevillei is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-3

Plant / associate
perithecium of Nitschkia parasitans is associated with dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Orbilia auricolor is saprobic on dead, fallen branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Orbilia curvatispora is saprobic on fallen branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
narrowly stalked apothecium of Orbilia cyathea is saprobic on dead wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 8-10

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Orbilia sarraziniana is saprobic on wet bark of Acer
Remarks: season: 5-11

Foodplant / feeds on
adult of Orsodacne cerasi feeds on anther of Acer
Remarks: season: 4-9

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, in small groups, subiculate pseudothecium of Otthia spiraeae is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 11-4

Foodplant / saprobe
imbricate or clustered fruitbody of Panellus serotinus is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed trunk (large) of Acer
Remarks: season: mainly late 11-2

Foodplant / saprobe
acervulus of Pestalotiopsis coelomycetous anamorph of Pestalotiopsis versicolor is saprobic on dead Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
Cryptosporiopsis coelomycetous anamorph of Pezicula cinnamomea is saprobic on wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked apothecium of Pezizella parilis is saprobic on dead twig of Acer
Remarks: season: (5)9-11(1)

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Phaeoisaria dematiaceous anamorph of Phaeoisaria clematidis is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 11-4

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Phaeostalagmus dematiaceous anamorph of Phaeostalagmus cyclosporus is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked, clustered basidiocarp of Phleogena faginea is saprobic on dead, standing trunk of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-2

Foodplant / parasite
Phloeospora coelomycetous anamorph of Phloeospora pseudoplatani parasitises live Acer

Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous Phyllactinia guttata parasitises live leaf of Acer

Foodplant / gall
Phyllocoptes acericola causes gall of leaf of Acer

Lichen / associate
Physatocheila harwoodi is associated with lichen-covered tree of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
conidioma of Pilidium coelomycetous anamorph of Pilidium acerinum is saprobic on fallen, dead leaf of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Pleurothecium dematiaceous anamorph of Pleurothecium recurvatum is saprobic on dead branch of Acer

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Polyporus squamosus parasitises wounded trunk of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, exposed by peeling back or shedding of host periderm apothecium of Propolis farinosa is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12 (best condition: 2-3)

Foodplant / feeds on
Pseudodiplodia coelomycetous anamorph of Pseudodiplodia corticis feeds on Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
gregarious, sessile apothecium of Pseudombrophila ramosa is saprobic on dead, rotting leaf of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Pseudospiropes dematiaceous anamorph of Pseudospiropes subuliferus is saprobic on dead bark of Acer

Foodplant / sap sucker
Pulvinaria regalis sucks sap of live branch of Acer

Foodplant / feeds on
Rhyncolus truncorum feeds on Acer

Foodplant / spot causer
epiphyllous stroma of Melasmia coelomycetous spermatial anamorph of Rhytisma acerinum causes spots on live leaf of Acer
Remarks: season: (7)8-9

Foodplant / saprobe
Roscoepoundia coelomycetous anamorph of Roscoepoundia croceola is saprobic on dead wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
gregarious, subiculate perithecium of Rosellinia aquila is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 2-5

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial, scattered perithecium of Rosellinia mammiformis is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 5-9
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked, soon disintegrating apothecium of Sclerophora pallida is saprobic on dead root bark of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-3

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Sporidesmium dematiaceous anamorph of Sporidesmium altum is saprobic on bark of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Sporidesmium dematiaceous anamorph of Sporidesmium coronatum is saprobic on dead bark of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Sporidesmium dematiaceous anamorph of Sporidesmium leptosporum is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Pseudospiropes dematiaceous anamorph of Strossmayeria atriseda is saprobic on dead bark of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Pseudospiropes dematiaceous anamorph of Strossmayeria basitricha is saprobic on dead branch of Acer

Plant / resting place / on
male of Taeniothrips inconsequens may be found on live Acer
Remarks: season: 5

Foodplant / saprobe
partly immersed pseudothecium of Trematosphaeria pertusa is saprobic on decorticate branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 3-5

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Tremex columba feeds within wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Trichocladium dematiaceous anamorph of Trichocladium opacum is saprobic on petiole of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Trichoderma anamorph of Trichoderma polysporum is saprobic on wood of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Brachysporium dematiaceous anamorph of Trichosphaeria notabilis is saprobic on rotten wood of Acer
Remarks: season: 4-8

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Trichothecium anamorph of Trichothecium roseum is saprobic on fallen branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-3

Foodplant / saprobe
grouped, superficial pseudothecium of Tubeufia cerea is saprobic on dead bark of Acer
Remarks: season: 4-10

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, grouped in circles perithecium of Valsa ambiens is saprobic on branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 10-5

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, in groups of about 10 perithecium of Valsa ceratosperma is saprobic on branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 11-3

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent, sessile apothecium of Velutarina rufo-olivacea is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 1-12 (good condition: 8)

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Virgaria dematiaceous anamorph of Virgaria nigra is saprobic on bark of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
thread-like stroma of Xylaria filiformis is saprobic on rotting leaf of Acer

Foodplant / saprobe
erect stroma of Xylaria polymorpha is saprobic on dead branch of Acer
Remarks: season: 9-11

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Xylohypha dematiaceous anamorph of Xylohypha nigrescens is saprobic on wood of Acer

Foodplant / internal feeder
caterpillar of Zeuzera pyrina feeds within live bud of Acer

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Evolution and Systematics

Systematics or Phylogenetics

The word “Acer” is derived from a Latin word meaning “sharp,” referring to the characteristic points on maple leaves. It was first applied to the genus by the French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort in 1700. Maples are variously classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or together with the Hippocastanaceae included in the family Sapindaceae. Modern classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favor inclusion in Sapindaceae. The type species of the genus is A. pseudoplatanus (Sycamore maple).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 1683
Specimens with Sequences: 2208
Specimens with Barcodes: 852
Species: 154
Species With Barcodes: 147
Public Records: 182
Public Species: 67
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Maple wood is valuable commercially for uses ranging from fine cabinetry, flooring, and furniture (for the larger “hard maple” species, such as A. saccharum and A. nigrum, black maple, and A. pseudoplatanus, sycamore maple) to railroad ties, pallets, and fuelwood (for the soft maples, such as A. saccharinum, silver maple, and A. rubrum, red maple). The dense wood of hard maples makes an excellent “tonewood,” and is used in musical instruments ranging from guitars and violins to bassoons and pianos; many drum kits are constructed of maple (Wikipedia 2011). Hard maples may grow unusual grain patterns, such as birdseye, which are particularly valued by woodworkers (MapleInfo.org 2011).

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Wikipedia

Maple

For other uses, see Maple (disambiguation).

Acer /ˈsər/[2] is a genus of trees or shrubs commonly known as maple. Maples are variously classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or together with the Hippocastanaceae included in the family Sapindaceae. Modern classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favour inclusion in Sapindaceae. The type species of the genus is Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple).[3]

There are approximately 128 species, most of which are native to Asia,[4] with a number also appearing in Europe, northern Africa, and North America. Only one species, the poorly studied Acer laurinum, is native to the Southern Hemisphere.[5] Fifty-four species of maples meet the International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria for being under threat of extinction in their native habitat.[5]

Morphology[edit]

Acer saccharum (Sugar maple)

Most maples are trees growing to 10 – 45 m (30 – 145 ft) in height. Others are shrubs less than 10 metres tall with a number of small trunks originating at ground level. Most species are deciduous, but a few in southern Asia and the Mediterranean region are evergreen. Most are shade-tolerant when young and are often riparian, understory, or pioneer species rather than climax overstory trees with a few exceptions such as Sugar Maple. Many of the root systems are typically dense and fibrous, inhibiting the growth of other vegetation underneath them. A few species, notably Acer cappadocicum, frequently produce root sprouts, which can develop into clonal colonies.[3]

Acer circinatum (Vine maple) leaves showing the palmate veining typical of most species

Maples are distinguished by opposite leaf arrangement. The leaves in most species are palmate veined and lobed, with 3 to 9 (rarely to 13) veins each leading to a lobe, one of which is central or apical. A small number of species differ in having palmate compound, pinnate compound, pinnate veined or unlobed leaves. Several species, including Acer griseum (Paperbark maple); Acer mandshuricum (Manchurian maple); Acer maximowiczianum (Nikko maple); and Acer triflorum (Three-flowered maple), have trifoliate leaves. One species, Acer negundo (Box-elder), has pinnately compound leaves that may be simply trifoliate or may have five, seven, or rarely nine leaflets. A few, such as Acer laevigatum (Nepal maple) and Acer carpinifolium (Hornbeam maple), have pinnately veined simple leaves.

Acer rubrum (Red maple) flowers

The flowers are regular, pentamerous, and borne in racemes, corymbs, or umbels. They have four or five sepals, four or five petals about 1 – 6 mm long (absent in some species), four to ten stamens about 6 – 10 mm long, and two pistils or a pistil with two styles. The ovary is superior and has two carpels, whose wings elongate the flowers, making it easy to tell which flowers are female. Maples flower in late winter or early spring, in most species with or just after the appearance of the leaves, but in some before the trees leaf out.[6]

Maple flowers are green, yellow, orange or red. Though individually small, the effect of an entire tree in flower can be striking in several species. Some maples are an early spring source of pollen and nectar for bees.

3D rendering of a µCT scan of a samara. Resolution is about 45 µm/voxel.

The distinctive fruit are called samaras, "maple keys", "whirlybirds" or "polynoses". These seeds occur in distinctive pairs each containing one seed enclosed in a "nutlet" attached to a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue. They are shaped to spin as they fall and to carry the seeds a considerable distance on the wind. Children often call them "helicopters" due to the way that they spin as they fall. During World War II, the US Army developed a special air drop supply carrier that could carry up to 65 pounds of supplies and was based on the Maple seed.[7] Seed maturation is usually in a few weeks to six months after flowering, with seed dispersal shortly after maturity. However, one tree can release hundreds of thousands of seeds at a time. Depending on the species, the seeds can be small and green to orange and big with thicker seed pods. The green seeds are released in pairs, sometimes with the stems still connected. The yellow seeds are released individually and almost always without the stems. Most species require stratification in order to germinate, and some seeds can remain dormant in the soil for several years before germinating.[3]

The genus is subdivided by its morphology into a multitude of sections and subsections.[8]

Pests and diseases[edit]

The leaves are used as a food plant for the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera species (see List of Lepidoptera that feed on maples). Aphids are also very common sap-feeders on maples. In horticultural applications a dimethoate spray will solve this.

In the United States and Canada, all maple species are threatened by the Asian long-horned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis). Infestations have resulted in the destruction of thousands of maples and other tree species in Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.[9]

Maples are affected by a number of fungal diseases. Several are susceptible to Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium species, which can cause significant local mortality. Sooty bark disease, caused by Cryptostroma species, can kill trees which are under stress due to drought. Death of maples can rarely be caused by Phytophthora root rot and Ganoderma root decay. Maple leaves in late summer and autumn are commonly disfigured by "tar spot" caused by Rhytisma species and mildew caused by Uncinula species, though these diseases do not usually have an adverse effect on the trees' long-term health.[10]

Cultural significance[edit]

The Canadian flag incorporates a stylized maple leaf

A maple leaf is on the coat of arms of Canada, and is on the Canadian flag. The maple is a common symbol of strength and endurance and has been chosen as the national tree of many countries including Canada. Maple leaves are traditionally an important part of Canadian Forces military regalia, for example the military rank insignia for generals use maple leaf symbols. In the literary world, the word maple was first published in Geoffery Chaucer's "The Knights Tale" on line 2,065, spelled as "mapul".[11]

Uses[edit]

Horticulture[edit]

A red maple tree between pine trees.
Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) has over 1,000 cultivars. This cultivar is A. palmatum 'Sango kaku', sometimes called "coralbark maple".

Some species of maple are extensively planted as ornamental trees by homeowners, businesses and municipalities due to their relatively fast growth, ease of transplanting, and lack of hard seeds that would pose a problem for mowing lawns. Particularly popular are Norway Maple (although it is considered invasive in North America), Silver Maple, Japanese Maple, and Red Maple. Other maples, especially smaller or more unusual species, are popular as specimen trees.[3]

Cultivars[edit]

Numerous maple cultivars which have been selected for particular characteristics can be propagated only by asexual reproduction such as cuttings, tissue culture, budding or grafting. Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) alone has over 1,000 cultivars, most selected in Japan, and many of them no longer propagated or not in cultivation in the Western world. Some delicate cultivars are usually grown in pots and rarely reach heights of more than 50–100 cm.

Bonsai[edit]

Bonsai "Roter Fächerahorn"

Maples are a popular choice for the art of bonsai. Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), Trident maple (A. buergerianum), Amur maple (A. ginnala), Field maple (A. campestre) and Montpellier maple (A. monspessulanum) are popular choices and respond well to techniques that encourage leaf reduction and ramification, but most species can be used.[3][12]

Collections[edit]

Acer griseum is widely grown for its decorative bark

Maple collections, sometimes called aceretums, occupy space in many gardens and arboreta around the world including the "five great W's" in England: Wakehurst Place Garden, Westonbirt Arboretum, Windsor Great Park, Winkworth Arboretum and Wisley Garden. In the United States, the aceretum at the Harvard-owned Arnold Arboretum in Boston is especially notable. In the number of species and cultivars, the Esveld Aceretum in Boskoop, Netherlands is the largest in the world.[3]

Tourism[edit]

Many maples have bright autumn foliage, and many countries have leaf-watching traditions. In Japan, the custom of viewing the changing colour of maples in the autumn is called "momijigari". Nikko and Kyoto are particularly favoured destinations for this activity. In addition, in Korea, the same viewing activity is called "Danpung-Nori" and the Seoraksan and Naejang-san mountains are very famous places for it.

The Acer saccharum (sugar maple) are a contributor to seasonal Fall tourism in North America, particularly in Central Ontario, Québec, and the northern tier of the United States including Wisconsin, Michigan, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts.

Commercial uses[edit]

Maples are important as source of syrup and wood. Dried wood is often used for the smoking of food. Charcoal from maples is an integral part of the Lincoln County Process used to make Tennessee Whiskey. They are also cultivated as ornamental plants and have benefits for tourism and agriculture.

Maple syrup[edit]

Further information: Maple syrup

The Sugar maple (A. saccharum) is tapped for sap, which is then boiled to produce maple syrup or made into maple sugar or maple taffy. It takes about 40 litres (42 US qt) of sugar maple sap to make 1 litre (1.1 US qt) of syrup. While any Acer species may be tapped for syrup, many do not have sufficient quantities of sugar to be commercially useful.

Timber[edit]

A bench made of highly figured maple wood

Some of the larger maple species have valuable timber, particularly Sugar maple in North America, and Sycamore maple in Europe. Sugar maple wood — often known as "hard maple" — is the wood of choice for bowling pins, bowling alley lanes, pool cue shafts, and butcher's blocks. Maple wood is also used for the manufacture of wooden baseball bats, though less often than ash or hickory due to the tendency of maple bats to shatter when broken. The maple bat was introduced to Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1998 by Sam Holman of Sam Bats. Today it is the standard maple bat most in use by professional baseball.[13] Maple is also commonly used in archery as the core material in the limbs of a Recurve Bow due to its stiffness and strength.

Maple wood is often graded based on physical and aesthetic characteristics. The most common terminology includes the grading scale from common #2 which is unselected, and often used for craft woods, common #1 used for commercial and residential buildings, Clear, and select grade which sought out for fine woodworking.[14]

Some maple wood has a highly decorative wood grain, known as flame maple, quilt maple, birdseye maple and burl wood. This condition occurs randomly in individual trees of several species, and often cannot be detected until the wood has been sawn, though it is sometimes visible in the standing tree as a rippled pattern in the bark.

These select decorative wood pieces also have subcategories which further filter the aesthetic looks. Crotch Wood, Bees Wing, Cats Paw, Old Growth and Mottled are some terms used to describe the look of these decorative woods.[15]

Maples have a long history of use for furniture production in the United States.[16]

Tonewood[edit]

Maple is considered a tonewood, or a wood that carries sound waves well, and is used in numerous musical instruments. Maple is harder and has a brighter sound than Mahogany, which is another major tonewood used in instrument manufacture.[17]

The back, sides, and neck of most violins, violas, cellos, and double basses are made from maple.

Electric guitar necks are commonly made from maple, having a brighter sound than rosewood. The necks of the Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster were originally an entirely maple one piece neck, but later were also available with rosewood fingerboards. Les Paul desired an all maple guitar, but due to the weight of maple, only the tops of Gibson's Les Paul guitars are made from carved maple, often using quilted or flamed maple tops. Due to its weight, very few solid body guitars are made entirely from maple, but many guitars have maple necks, tops or veneers.

Maple is also often used to make bassoons and sometimes for other woodwind instruments like maple recorders.

Many drums are made from maple. From the 70s to the 90s, maple drum kits were a vast majority of all drum kits made, but in recent years, Birch has become popular for drums once again. Some of the best drum-building companies use maple extensively throughout their mid-pro range.[3] Maple drums are favored for their bright resonant sound.[18]

Drum Sticks[edit]

Recently, maple has been used in drum sticks by Vic Firth®. The product line is called "American Heritage"® and the sticks have the same dimensions of the traditional hickory sticks. Currently, only 7A, 5A, and 5B sizes are made. (April 2014)

Agriculture[edit]

As they are a major source of pollen in early spring before many other plants have flowered, maples are important to the survival of honeybees that play a commercially important role later in the spring and summer.

Pulpwood[edit]

Maple is used as pulpwood. The fibers have relatively thick walls that prevents collapsing upon drying. This gives good bulk and opacity in paper. Maple also gives paper with good printing properties.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 9, June 2008 [and more or less continuously updated since]. http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/.
  2. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  3. ^ a b c d e f g van Gelderen, C. J. & van Gelderen, D. M. (1999). Maples for Gardens: A Color Encyclopedia
  4. ^ Tingzhi Xu, Yousheng Chen, Piet C. de Jong, Herman John Oterdoom & Chin-Sung Chang. "Acer Linnaeus". Flora of China. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Gibbs, D. & Chen, Y. (2009) The Red List of Maples Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) ISBN 978-1-905164-31-8
  6. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  7. ^ "Sky Hook Spirals from Plane" Popular Mechanics, December 1944, p. 75.
  8. ^ Classification of maples
  9. ^ http://www.beetlebusters.info/; http://www.umassgreeninfo.org/fact_sheets/wood_attackers/asian_longhorned_beetle_MA.html#226
  10. ^ Phillips, D. H. & Burdekin, D. A. (1992). Diseases of Forest and Ornamental Trees. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-49493-8.
  11. ^ Simpson, J. A., and E. S. C. Weiner. The Oxford English dictionary. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press ;, 1989. Print.
  12. ^ D'Cruz, Mark. "Ma-Ke Bonsai Care Guide for Acer buergerianum". Ma-Ke Bonsai. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  13. ^ Sam Holman Maple Baseball Bats
  14. ^ The Illustrated Grading Guide to American Hardwoods
  15. ^ Wood Terms and Examples
  16. ^ Joseph Aronson (1965). The encyclopedia of furniture. Random House, Inc. pp. 300–. ISBN 978-0-517-03735-5. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  17. ^ http://www.fender.com/en-GB/news/index.php/?display_article=395
  18. ^ Geoff Nicholls; Tony Bacon (1 June 1997). The drum book. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-0-87930-476-8. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Philips, Roger (1979). Trees of North America and Europe. New York: Random House, Inc. ISBN 0-394-50259-0. 
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