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Climate Change and Leaf-out in Plants

Classroom/Laboratory Activity

A classroom/laboratory activity to explore the possible role of climate-related environmental factors in the timing of leaf-out in plants (specifically, red maple leaf-out in New England).

In this activity, students will create graphs by using data for the timing of red maple leaf-out in New England. They will analyze these graphs and discuss the possible effect of changing spring temperatures on leaf-out.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is leaf-out?
  2. What are the climate-related factors that may affect leaf-out in plants?
  3. Which phenological events in plants could be affected by a change in the average spring temperature?
About Tool
Tool Name The Timing of Red Maple Leaf-out
Discipline Biological Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Phenology, Botany, Phenological Events, Life-cycle Events in Plants, Leaf-out
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of tool Classroom/Laboratory Activity
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location North America, United States, New England
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Elissa Koskela (University of Maine Cooperative Extension), Dr. Molly Schauffler (University of Maine Climate Change Institute and RiSE Center)
Hosted at Signs of the Seasons: A New England Phenology Program, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Access Online/Offline
Computer Skills Basic

Mapped Sustainable Development Goal(s), apart from 4 and 13


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