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Beavers take a chunk out of nitrogen in Northeast rivers

Beavers, once valued for their fur, may soon have more appreciation in the Northeastern United States. There they are helping prevent harmful levels of nitrogen from reaching the area's vulnerable estuaries. By creating ponds that slow down the movement of water, they aid in removing nitrogen from the water.

Leave leaves alone


In natural ecosystems, there is little waste. Nutrients taken up by plants are returned to the soil when plants die and decompose. Ecologists call this nutrient loop a biogeochemical cycle.

Too much of a good thing


Bags of garden fertilizer are labeled with three numbers, such as 15-4-5. These numbers indicate the percent of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the product. The remainder of the bag is filler that helps the fertilizer disperse.

The downside of nitrogen fertilizer


Yesterday, we introduced the topic of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Anyone with a lawn or a garden is familiar with the product. But prior to the 1950s, it use was not the norm.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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