Mountain Maple provides many benefits for wildlife.
Mammals: The bark is preferred by White-tailed Deer, beaver, rabbits, and moose. So much so that the tree is also called Moosewood or Moose Maple. When browsed, Mountain Maple grows back with renewed vigor. This has a two-fold benefit of keeping the tree small so that the more plentiful, palatable young shoots can be reached by the animals who feed on it. Due to its renewed growth after pruning/browsing it is considered deer resistant.
Gamebirds: Wild Turkey, Ruffed Grouse, and pheasant eat the buds in late winter and are grateful for it at a time of year when there may be little else. Seeds are eaten by deer and birds alike.
Mountain Maple relies on bees for pollination. Most, but not all, flowers are either male or female. The bees are the mechanism that brings male and female parts together for proper pollination. Honeybees make honey from the nectar that tastes very similar to that of clover.
Many types of beneficial beetles including Soldier, Long-horned, Flower Longhorn, Click, and Rove Beetles will make use of Mountain Maple.
Mountain Maple is often found in riparian habitats where it prevents erosion and provides food and habitat for many species. Shade by a stream also has benefits for underwater creatures. Water kept cool by shade holds more oxygen which can even have an impact on reproduction rates of certain species of fish. Fallen leaves provide nutrients to aquatic species. Prevention of erosion controls the release of sediment into the water which keeps the water clean for its inhabitants. Trees in riparian areas provide benefits for the entire ecosystem in a big way!