About Bigtooth Maple

  • Bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum Nutt.) grows in various habitats at high elevations and in protected canyon bottoms at lower elevations across intermountain western North America.
  • Small relict populations are found in the arid southwest, including several in the Edwards Plateau region of Central Texas.
  • Populations are difficult to find and access because they are in remote areas and/or on private land.
  • Little ecological or population information is available concerning these communities.
  • There are a number of anecdotal reports that suggest browsing by white-tailed deer is a major cause of bigtooth maple population declines.
  • Lost Maples State Natural Area has one of the largest bigtooth maple populations and one with at least partial protection.
  • Herbivory from large vertebrates can negatively impact the growth and survival of plant seedlings.
  • Plant species which are highly preferred by herbivores tend to decrease in density.
  • This allows species that are less preferred or resistant to herbivory to increase their density.
  • Both bigtooth maple and sugar maple are considered low feeding preference species.
  • No studies testing this hypothesis have been identified for bigtooth maple.
  • White-tailed deer are a suspected cause of sugar maple regeneration failure in many areas of the United States.

Related Publications

Terri L. Nelson Dickinson and O.W. Van Auken (2016) Survival, Growth, and Recruitment of Bigtooth Maple (Acer grandidentatum) in Central Texas Relict Communities. Natural Areas Journal 36: 174-180.
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