Photosynthesis rate, invasive species, Red maple, Norway maple, Eastern Deciduous Forest


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Forest Biology | Plant Biology | Population Biology


Invasive species, such as the Norway Maple, are often able to outcompete native species, such as the Red Maple by performing more efficiently in the environment compared to the native species. In this study, we examined if the Norway maple was able to outcompete the Red Maple in the Eastern Deciduous Forest because the Norway Maple had a higher rate of photosynthesis. The study found that the Norway Maple leaves had a slightly higher rate of carbon dioxide consumption than Red Maple leaves and that the Red Maple leaves had a higher rate of oxygen production compared to the Norway Maples. Since these differences were not statistically significant, the data suggested that the differences in the rate of photosynthesis between the two tree species is most likely very small. This suggests that the rate of photosynthesis is most likely not the advantage Norway Maples have over Red Maples that allows this invader to better compete for space in a forest.