Paul Schaberg, USDA Forest Service Plant Physiologist, presents “An exploration of the biology and ecology of fall leaf coloration”. This talk includes basic information about the biology of leaf pigments, and focuses on the surprising connection between one pigment – red anthocyanins – to environmental stress and describe the ongoing scientific debate regarding the potential ecological benefits of red pigment production. Connections of leaf color change to weather and other cues, and how these factors influence the timing and location of peak leaf color development are also highlighted – information that can assist everyone’s recreational “leaf peeping”!
Paul Schaberg is a Plant Physiologist with the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station in Burlington, VT. Paul’s research focuses on understanding and combatting abiotic stresses of trees. His recent research examines how damage from one abiotic factor (low temperatures) may constrain the restoration of tree species threatened by biotic pathogens (e.g., American elm with Dutch elm disease and American chestnut with chestnut blight). He has also conducted pioneering work on the influence of acid deposition and climate change on the growth and unexplained decline of numerous North American tree species, including red spruce and sugar maple in the Northeast and yellow-cedar in Alaska and adjacent Canada. He has also published many papers on the biology of fall leaf color – the topic of this webinar.