Sugar maple trees. (Credit: Public Domain)
Some studies have attempted to assess the impacts of climate change on sap used to produce maple syrup, notably its flow and volume. But few investigations have looked at how climatic fluctuations may be impacting the quality of sap coming out, showcased mostly through the substance’s chemistry and sugar content.
To help fill this gap in understanding, several researchers from the University of Massachusetts are working to study sap in sugar maple trees, according to WWLP-22 News. The scientists are collaborating with others from several organizations, including Montana State University, University of Virginia and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Students at the schools, as well as volunteers, go out routinely and sample sap from around 20 sugar maple trees at each of six sites. These are spread mostly throughout the U.S. Northeast. Once the samples are gathered, liquid chromatography techniques allow the researchers to tease out the levels of phytochemicals (plant compounds) in each one.
Top image: Sugar maple trees. (Credit: Public Domain)