Food Webs

Wildebeest drownings feed a river ecosystem for years

More than a million wildebeests migrate each year in East Africa, moving from Tanzania to Kenya and back again. These antelopes, also known as gnus (NEUZ), follow the rains and abundant grass that will later spring up.

It’s a fish eat tree world

Most of the planet’s freshwater stores are found in the northern hemisphere, a region that is changing rapidly in response to human activity and shifting climatic trends. An international team of scientists analyzed 147 northern lakes and found that many rely on nutrients from tree leaves, pine needles, and other land-grown plants to feed aquatic life.

Acorns and Lyme disease

Podcast

In New York's Hudson Valley, it's hard to go outside without stepping on an acorn. Oaks have 'boom and bust' acorn production cycles. In lean years, trees produce a handful of nuts. In boom years, acorns seem to rain down from the sky. 

Dams destabilize river food webs: Lessons from the Grand Canyon

Managing fish in human-altered rivers is a challenge because their food webs are sensitive to environmental disturbance. So reports a new study in the journal Ecological Monographs, based on an exhaustive three-year analysis of the Colorado River in Glen and Grand Canyons.

Fish have to eat

Podcast

My colleague Emma Rosi is an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute. One of her research projects involves an endangered fish called the humpback chub. She and her team spend a lot of time counting insects in the Colorado River downstream of the Glen Canyon Dam. You might think her time would be better spent counting the actual fish, but her approach will provide us with a lot more information.

Food webs aren't cute or cuddly

Everybody seems to know about food webs these days — how primary producers capture the energy of the sun, and pass it along to consumers and then on to predators — but I’m not sure that most people really understand what food webs are about.

water sampling

Study detects clues to environmental collapse

By closely monitoring the conditions of a remote lake, researchers have found that environmental collapse shares characteristics of the early warnings of collapse in human health and the economy.

acorns

Acorn glut signals Lyme risks

In our research sites at the Cary Institute and throughout the Hudson Valley, we are seeing acorn production of unprecedented proportions.

In the Hudson River, some fish are made of maple leaves

The lion's share (more than 90 percent) of the organic matter in the Hudson River comes from the landscape surrounding the river, rather than from plants and algae that live in the river. 

Dining outside of the stream

Several summers ago, IES post-doctoral Associate Dr. Winsor Lowe, with colleagues, set out to unravel where spring salamanders (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) find their food. Do animals forage for their insect prey in aquatic or in nearby woodland habitats? If they venture out of the water to hunt, does the vegetation they encounter influence their success? 

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