Leaf microbiomes are a neighborhood affair in northern forests

Forest leaves are teeming with bacterial life—but despite the vast extent of bacteria-covered foliage across the world, this habitat, known as the phyllosphere, remains full of mysteries. How do bacteria spread from tree ...

An artificial 'tongue' of gold to taste maple syrup

It's said that maple syrup is Quebec's liquid gold. Now scientists at Université de Montréal have found a way to use real gold—in the form of nanoparticles—to quickly find out how the syrup tastes.

Climate change unlikely to drive sugar maples north

Climate is an important factor in determining a plant species' growing zone. Some studies suggest that by the turn of the next century, climate change will have caused some species to spread several dozen kilometres north ...

When a tree falls in St. Louis, will the power go out?

In a study recently published in Sensors, Saint Louis University researchers paired satellite imaging data with machine learning techniques to map local tree species and health. The data generated by the project will help ...

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Maple

Acer (pronounced /ˈeɪsər/) 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).

There are approximately 129 species, most of which are native to Asia, 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. Fifty four species of maples meet the International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria for being under threat of extinction in their native habitat.

The word Acer derives from a Latin word meaning "sharp" (compare "acerbic"), 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. The earliest known fossil maple is Acer alaskense, from the Latest Paleocene of Alaska.

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