I just read that some of the clams (freshwater mussels, technically) in Scandinavian creeks are thought to live for 280 years. This means that animals alive today were around when Johann Sebastian Bach was still playing the organ in Leipzig, mature adults when shots were fired at Lexington, old enough retire (if clams retired like people) when Napoleon’s armies marched across Europe, and more than 125 years old when Lincoln freed the slaves.
Have you ever wondered what happens when a fish encounters a dam or a culvert? Too often, these structures are barriers to breeding and nursery sites, feeding grounds, and vital genetic mixing. In a warming world, barriers also prevent fish from seeking refuge as stream temperatures change.
It's easy to feel light-deprived during these short, pale winter days, especially after a week of gray weather. Compared to many underwater habitats, though, a cloudy winter's day is a floodlit paradise.
We are working in collaboration with a consortium of governmental and non-profit agencies in southeastern Québec to try to understand the effects of water level management on littoral food webs in this region.
We are working with the Adirondack chapter of The Nature Conservancy to build a population model of an Adirondack strain, heritage lake trout population and test alternative management strategies for maximizing the fishery's conservation and value.
Fisheries are classic examples of tightly coupled natural-human systems, and have high cultural and economic value in North America and around the world. They are thus useful model systems for testing and developing social-ecological theory, and important venues for real-world application of such theory.
Organic matter produced by terrestrial plants enters lakes via streams, groundwater, and surface deposition. These inputs strongly structure lake ecosystems, altering heat and light budgets, fueling carbon cycles, and becoming incorporated into the tissues of aquatic organisms like invertebrates and fishes.
Increasing salt in our streams has been a concern at the Cary Institute for many years. Even in the relatively undeveloped watershed of the East Branch of Wappinger Creek, the salt levels have increased since 1985 when sampling began.
Dr. Weathers is co-Chair of the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON), a grassroots research network that conducts innovative science by sharing and interpreting high resolution sensor data to understand, predict and communicate the role and response of lakes in a changing global environment.
Carbon released from terrestrial ecosystems is an important source of organic matter in most streams, lakes and rivers. In the Hudson River there has been a doubling in concentration of dissolved organic carbon over the past 15 years.
Submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) is an important habitat in the Hudson River. We have investigated a wide range of functions in SAV beds including maintenance of high dissolved oxygen, effects on suspended sediment, and habitat value.
Beds of water celery (Vallisneria americana) and other plants are widespread in the Hudson River, and play several important ecological functions. These beds contain a diverse invertebrate community, which may serve as a major source of food to the river's fish.
We have carried out a diversity of small and mesocosm-scale experiments, in conjunction with regionally distributed field sampling, to assess when the composition of stream benthic bacterial communities corresponds with differences in stream metabolic activities.
For three decades, our scientists have been researching the Hudson River ecosystem– from the way shoreline development impacts water quality to how invasive species influence resident plants and animals. As a result, the Hudson is the most scientifically scrutinized river in the world.