My name is Steve Gougherty and I am a PhD candidate at Boston University in the Department of Biology. As part of my research I am interested in characterizing how leaf traits vary throughout species’ entire geographic distributions. My focus is mainly on differences in nutrient concentrations of green leaves in the summer and freshly fallen leaves in the autumn.
I am currently recruiting volunteer community scientists to help contribute samples to this project and thought some of you on the iNatForum might be interested in getting involved with our project! We are inviting participants to help collect red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves from one or more trees in their local area for this project, once in August when the leaves are green and again at leaf fall. Leaf samples will then be sent to Boston University for processing and analysis of nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus contents.
In 2019 we received leaf samples from over 100 trees throughout a large portion of the geographic range of red maple. In 2020 we are eager to continue this project and increase the number of participants.
Our website contains many more details about the project and sign-up information for those who would like to participate. Here’s the link: http://sites.bu.edu/tasper/
We hope that we can increase participation in our 2020 sampling and thank you in advance for your consideration in supporting this ecological research! Let me know in this forum or through our website if you have any questions!
PS(Per the suggestion from @lotteryd, here’s a link that will help differentiate between different types of maples: http://sites.bu.edu/tasper/2019/08/26/maple-identification-blog-post/
The post about maple IDs was put together by Don Drife who takes some amazing photos of wildlife in Michigan.)