Forests

How to prevent the next emerald ash borer

The emerald ash borer, a beetle native to Asia, is presently established around Concord, N.H., and can be expected to eliminate ash trees from most of New England within a decade. 

Imported forest pests the greatest threat to U.S. Trees

When asked ‘what’s the greatest threat facing U.S. trees,’ common answers are climate change and development. 

Lessons from the forest

Podcast

For more than half a century, scientists have converged on Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire's White Mountains to explore how forest ecosystems work. The site was established by the U.S. Forest Service to study the relationship between forests and New England's water supply. 

Tiny forest pests cause big problems

Podcast

Each year, more than 25 million shipping containers enter the U.S. All too often, highly destructive forest pests are lurking among their imported goods. Wood boring insects arrive as stowaways in wood packaging, such as pallets and crates. 

Tree-smart trade is critical

In the Adirondacks and the Catskills, beech bark disease is taking out the largest beeches. Emerald ash borer, a little beetle that has killed over 100 million ash trees in the Midwest, is now active throughout the state, including the Capital Region.

Cary Institute scientist says SE NY Is prime target of forest pests

A forest ecologist from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Dutchess County is the lead author of a paper about imported forest pests. Cary Institute and Harvard Forest led a team of scientists for the research. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Cary Institute Senior Scientist Dr. Gary Lovett about the report’s findings.

Hubbard Brook: Lessons from the Forest

HUBBARD BROOK: The Story of a Forest Ecosystem captures the rich history of research at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, including how it has transformed environmental policy, resource management, and forestry practices – locally, regionally, and nationally.

Oak Stewardship: A Panel on Best Management Practices

Lecture Video

Panel discussion for an oak forest forum hosted at Cary on May 7, 2016.

The Future of Oak Forests Forum: Part 1

Lecture Video

Presentations by Michael Fargione and Charles Canham for an oak forest forum hosted at Cary on May 9, 2016.

The Future of Oak Forests

Science & Management Forum
Hosted: May 7, 2016

Explore the importance of oaks to wildlife and how land use practices set the stage for oak declines.

More forest pests than ever are entering the U.S., and it’s costing the public a fortune

In the 20th century, chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease decimated billions of U.S. trees, in forests and along urban and suburban streets. The tree diseases, caused by invasive pests, effectively changed the face of one American city landscape after another—chestnut trees were virtually wiped out and elms diminished to but a few locations—and cost local governments and homeowners a fortune.

What it would take to stop invasive pests from destroying millions of U.S. trees

When cheap consumer goods arrive on American shores, they sometimes bring invasive parasites that go on to decimate forests and urban trees. A new study, out Tuesday in the journal Ecological Applications, synthesizes the information available on the true costs of these species and lays out the best available policy responses.

The ‘slow motion crisis’ that’s facing U.S. forests

Last week, a group of researchers published saddening news about "sudden oak death," spread by an invasive water mold, that has killed over a million trees in coastal California. The pathogen, they found, simply cannot be stopped — though it can still be contained, and the harm mitigated. But it is too extensively established now in California to eradicate.

Opportunities for Tree-SMART Trade

Video

Efforts to prevent new pests are not keeping pace with escalating trade and must be strengthened if we are to slow the loss of our nation's trees. Dr. Gary Lovett describes the threat and the steps that can be taken to save our forests.

Project Summary: Community Impacts and Opportunities for Tree-SMART Trade (pdf, 5 MB)

The Cary Institute and the Science Policy Exchange are proposing five Tree-SMART Trade actions that will help safeguard trees and alleviate the economic burden on local governments and communities.

U.S. must step-up forest pest prevention, new study says

Imported forest pests cause billions of dollars in damages each year, and U.S. property owners and municipalities foot most of the bill. Efforts to prevent new pests are not keeping pace with escalating trade and must be strengthened if we are to slow the loss of our nation’s trees. So reports a team of 16 scientists in a new paper published online today in the journal Ecological Applications.

biofuel plant

Letter to the Senate on carbon neutrality of forest biomass

Letter signed by 65 research scientists sent to U.S. senators working on the Energy Policy Modernization Act. The Senate has accepted an amendment to the act which would legally designate forest biomass to be "carbon neutral."

Science Now: Experimental Ice Storm

Video

There is very cool science going on at Hubbard Brook. Scientists from Cary and other research institutions created an experimental ice storm that will improve understanding of short- and long-term effects of ice on northern forests.

Cool science (very cool) examines how ice storms may shape the future of northern forests

A team of scientists in New Hampshire succeeded this week in capturing one of nature's most destructive forces - ice - and corralling it in two large research plots on the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.

Non-Native forest insects and diseases: Impacts and policy options

Video

Forest ecologist Gary Lovett discusses the economic and ecological impacts of forest pests and the possible policy implements that may reduce the threat.

Listening to forest data

Podcast

The forest is playing a symphony. By tapping into environmental monitoring sensors at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a tool called WaterViz captures a real-time audio visualization of the forest’s water cycle.

acorns

Autumn’s bounty-the feast before the famine

Here in the Hudson Valley, nature’s harvest has been abundant. Nuts and fruits will help wildlife fuel their southern migrations or stock their winter larders. Not every year produces such a bounty; this season’s bumper crop of wild foods will impact local plants and animals for years to come.

Two numbers: Humans have burned up half the world’s biomass

By now the lesson is clear: Burning coal and petroleum produces carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas that contributes to the warming of our globe. That alone is enough reason to believe fossil fuels are not a sustainable basis for society long-term.

Trade and trees

Podcast

Debate about the Trans-Pacific Partnership overlooks an unintended consequence of increased trade with Asia – the assault on America's trees.

The case for messy woodlands

Podcast

Does your property contain a patch of forest? When managing your woodland, resist the urge to keep things tidy. Dead and dying trees are a healthy part of forest ecosystems.

From Forests to Farms, and Back Again: Land Use Change in the Hudson Valley

Lecture Video

Presentation by Charles Canham for a land stewardship management forum hosted at Cary on April 12, 2014.

Causes and Ecosystem Impacts of Invasive Species: Spotlight on Forest Pests and Pathogens

Lecture Video

Presentation by Gary Lovett for an invasive species forum hosted at Cary on March 21, 2015.

Northern Forest Atlas Project

Lecture Video

Ecologist Jerry Jenkins has been documenting the flora and fauna of the Northern Forest for the past 45 years. This visually-rich lecture distills his findings, with a focus on inspiring conservation and informing environmental education.

Postdocs in Action

The trees that make up a forest influence its ability to retain carbon and nitrogen, nutrients of concern to ecologists because they impact forest productivity and water quality. 

The Tapestry of Science: Engaging Poets, Preachers, and Prisoners as Partners

Lecture Video

Ecologist Nalini Nadkarni explores the world of the forest canopy and how everyone–from preachers to prison inmates–can contribute to the scientific enterprise.

New Science Policy Exchange Project: Forest Pests and Pathogens

The Harvard Forest, in collaboration with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, has launched a new Science Policy Exchange project on forest pests and pathogens. This project addresses growing concerns about damage to trees, forests, and local economies caused by introduced insects. 

New York is a hotbed for damaging forest pests

When Chris Standley received a tip that some ash trees within the Mohonk Preserve might be infested by a devastating insect, he grabbed a drawknife and peeled away the bark.

Deer Hunting and Forest Health

Lecture Video

Presentation by Raymond Winchcombe for a land stewardship management forum hosted at Cary on April 12, 2014.

Lovett leads forest policy initiative

Invasive pests and pathogens threaten the health of Northeastern forests. Cary Institute ecologist Gary Lovett has spent his career investigating the impact that species like the hemlock woolly adelgid and beech bark disease have on Catskill Mountain ecosystems.

On the beech

In Ballard Park in Ridgefield, there are some lovely, thick-trunked, big-canopied beech trees, perfect for providing shade on a summer's day. They are old trees and despite their beauty, they're not healthy. They have beech bark disease.

Let's talk about ammonia

Podcast

Most of us are familiar with ammonia as an irritating gas that is emitted from window-cleaning fluids. It is a great way to cut through grease that has condensed on glass.

Trees and lawn victims of Asian worm invasion

The Register-Star reports on one woman's experience of the destructive effect of an invasive earthworm on the health of her surrounding forest.

The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature

Lecture Video

Biologist and award-winning author David Haskell spent a year observing a single square meter of old-growth Tennessee forest.

The Strange Forests that Drink—and Eat—Fog

On the rugged roadway approaching Fray Jorge National Park in north-central Chile, you are surrounded by desert. This area receives less than six inches of rain a year, and the dry terrain is more suggestive of the badlands of the American Southwest than of the lush landscapes of the Amazon.

Predicting the forest of the future

Podcast

We hear a lot about how climate change will affect forests. Some projections show wholesale loss of species in the western U.S., due to fire and pests.

Trees are good for human health

Podcast

Many of us have experienced a restorative walk in the woods. But does associating with trees really make us any healthier? 

The future of woodland pools

Podcast

Woodland pools are temporary wetlands that provide important habitat to forest wildlife. They also help mitigate floods. While land development is a major threat to woodland pools, there are also subtle changes that undermine their health.

Decreased water flow may be trade-off for more productive forest

Bubbling brooks and streams are a scenic and much loved feature of forest ecosystems, but long-term data at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest suggests that more productive forests might carry considerably less water.

Forests of the Future

Lecture Video

Harvard botanist Dr. Peter Del Tredici discusses how northeastern forests are being shaped by urbanization, invasive species, acid rain, and climate change.

Bad news for maple syrup and moose

Podcast

Following an exhaustive review of more than fifty years of long term data on environmental conditions at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the results are clear: spring is advancing and fall is retreating.

Forest reveals climate change's surprising damage

Long-term research on the impacts of climate change can give us insight on how certain environments will respond to warming temperatures. Poughkeepsie Journal reports on Cary research.

Indirect effects of climate change could alter landscapes

Researchers are recognizing the importance of understanding the effects of climate change on a local scale.

Maple syrup, moose, and the local impacts of climate change

Millbrook, N.Y. -- In the northern hardwood forest, climate change is poised to reduce the viability of the maple syrup industry, spread wildlife diseases and tree pests, and change timber resources.

What's Bugging Our Forests?

Lecture Video

Cary Institute’s Gary Lovett discusses how several invasive species are ravaging regional forests.

fog

We all know about rain forests. Now we are learning about fog forests

Podcast

There's a desert in north-central Chile that receives less than six inches of rain a year. Right in the middle of it is a lush mountain forest that is dense with trees, bromeliads, ferns, and mosses.

Invasive pests threaten our northern forests

“Catastrophic loss of tree species and a huge taxpayer burden—where's the sense in this?”

Untangling climate impacts on forests

In assessing a major drop in nitrate loss from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, it was revealed that past disturbances, such as logging, must be included. 

weir

In forests, past disturbances obscure warming impacts

Millbrook, NY – Past disturbances, such as logging, can obscure the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems.

forest

Collective carelessness has led to loss of many species

Once there were big stands of hemlocks in the ravines and on the steep creek-banks. Their shade was so deep that hardly any underbrush could survive, so the ground was clear between their big trunks.

Turning forests into fuel: Report outlines promise and limits of biomass energy in the Northeast

Forest biomass could replace as much as one quarter of the liquid fossil fuel now being used for industrial and commercial heating in the Northeastern United States.

Biomass energy option may be small

Standing timber in the northeastern United States has waxed and waned according to society's evolving needs.

National action needed to save forests

On a glorious day several weekends ago, my wife and I hiked up Panther Mountain in the Catskills.

Turning forests into fuel

Our forests provide a wide range of ecological, economic, and aesthetic benefits.

forest fire

Fire factor fading

A fire in Minnewaska State Park, which burned more than 3,000 acres, is a reminder of how difficult it can be to control wildfires.

Forest change offers insight

While walking through the woods in the Hudson Valley, it is common to stumble upon the remnants of stone walls. Now mossy and overgrown, they date back to a time when agriculture dominated the landscape.

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