Wanted: Samples of Sycamore Maple

Dear friends and colleagues, I would like to make a new call for participation in sampling plant material. This time, it is about sampling leaves and seeds from sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) in both its native and non-native range. Although this fellow is native in most part of central Europe, it is considered invasive and even problematic in some parts of north-western Europe. In the UK, sycamore maple has a pretty bad reputation. In her book entitled “The Long, Long Life of Trees“, Fiona Stafford tells us the story of sycamore maple in the UK. As she wrote in her book:

Many rail companies now run special leaf-fall timetables from early October, routinely warning passengers that trains may arrive at their destinations up to three minutes later than shown. It is a response to a problem that hit the headlines in the 1990s […] As showers of moist leaves land on railway lines every autumn and become compressed, the slick-coated tracks can cause trains to skid. The clearance operation takes time and costs money […] But where do these annoying leaves come from? Mostly, it seems, from the sycamore tree […] Home-grown or imported, the sycamore’s adptable nature means that it will always be quick to rush in where other trees fear to tread“.

Acer_pseudoplatanus_2

Leaves and seeds from sycamore maple

A colleague of mine here in Amiens, Thomas Kichey, is leading a project on the invasion dynamic of sycamore maple. For that reason, we need samples (leaves and seeds: see picture above) from as many different locations as possible to cover its geographic range (see maps below). We would be very grateful if you could help us in this endeavor, especially if you are located in a region where sycamore maple is considered invasive (Australia, New-Zealand, USA, etc.). We have two different protocols whether it is fall (seed sampling) or spring (leaf sampling) time in your area. For us  in France, right now, it is time for seed sampling but if you are in Argentina or in New-Zealand, you can sample fresh leaves for us. This is the beauty of having two hemispheres.

Acer_pseudoplatanus_range.svg

Native range of sycamore maple in Europe and occurrences beyond its native range

Acer_pseudoplatanus_occurrences

Occurrences of sycamore maple registered in GBIF

Leaf sampling design of sycamore maple at spring

We recommand to sample leaves in natural populations of sycamore maple (i.e. in naturally regenerated stands, i.e. a public forest – no park, no private garden).

For each sample considered as a population ex-nihilo (i.e. forest), 2 fresh leaves (~20 cm2 leaf blade) are collected on 20 adult trees throuhout a woodland patch or a larger forest stand (pairwise distance between individuals ~30 m) and stored in a paper bag (or in between journal paper sheets). We recommend using separate paper envelopes to store the 2 leaves of a given individual tree. Label each envelope/sample with:

  • the 2-digits country code (https://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/ctycodes.htm);
  • the first 3 first letters of the sampled area (cf. name of the woodland patch or forest stand or the closest town/city near the sampled location, i.e. the population);
  • the 2 digits corresponding to the iterative number of the individual sampled – if each individual is located by GPS.

e.g. FR – HIR – 01 = first individual collected in Hirson forest, France

Optional: when possible, locate the sampled trees with a GPS, coordinates are to be sent with the samples. You can write coordinates in latitude/longitude format (WGS84) directly on the envelope.

The 20 (optimally) envelopes/samples collected in one forest patch or population are pooled in one larger envelope labeled with:

  • the name of the sampler and/or his/her e-mail (e.g. thomas.kichey@u-picardie.fr);
  • the sampling state (e.g. France – FR);
  • the population id (e.g. Hirson – HIR);
  • GPS population location (e.g 49°57’4.54″N; 4° 8’9.28″E – could be extracted from GoogleEarth).

The samples can be sent to:

Thomas Kichey
Université de Picardie Jules Verne – UFR Sciences
Unité EDYSAN Ecologie et Dynamique des Systèmes Anthropisés (UMR CNRS 7058)
33 rue Saint-Leu
80000 AMIENS
FRANCE

A photo of the sampled stand can be sent by email to: thomas.kichey@u-picardie.fr

Seed sampling design of sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.), at fall

We recommand to sample seeds in natural populations of sycamore maple (i.e. in naturally regenerated stands, i.e. a public forest – no park, no private garden).

For each population, about 100 mature seeds are collected on the ground below an adult tree (or in the branch of the adult tree) located in the middle of the stand and stored (dry) in an envelope or paper bag (one paper bag per stand).

Optional: when possible, locate the sampled trees with a GPS.

The samples collected in one tree are labeled with:

  • the name of the sampler and/or his/her e-mail (e.g. thomas.kichey@u-picardie.fr);
  • the sampling state (e.g. France – FR);
  • the population id (e.g. Hirson – HIR);
  • GPS population location (e.g 49°57’4.54″N; 4° 8’9.28″E – could be extracted from GoogleEarth).

The samples can be sent to:

Thomas Kichey
Université de Picardie Jules Verne – UFR Sciences
Unité EDYSAN Ecologie et Dynamique des Systèmes Anthropisés (UMR CNRS 7058)
33 rue Saint-Leu
80000 AMIENS
FRANCE

A photo of the stand can be sent by email to: thomas.kichey@u-picardie.fr

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