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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

An interview with the 300-year-old clam

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.

Cary Institute, Bard receive grant for large-scale tick control study

Two institutions in the Hudson Valley have received a $5 million grant for a large-scale study aimed at reducing tick populations and Lyme disease. The five-year project is the first to explore Lyme disease management for entire communities.

tick studies

Cary Institute receives $5 million from Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation for large-scale study aimed at reducing ticks and Lyme disease

The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation has awarded a $5 million dollar leadership grant to the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies to support a scientific study, being done in partnership with Bard College, that seeks to reduce Lyme disease in neighborhoods. 

Winter’s silence broken with signs of spring

Spring officially arrived on March 20. I caution myself from likening it to flipping on a light switch. This simplistic idea is born from too many winter days wishing for better weather. Realistically, spring is a transitional period when nature first takes halting, then cascading, steps from the scarcity of winter into the riotous surplus of summer.

Cary-led Lake Observer recognized at White House Water Summit

At today’s White House Water Summit, the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) and the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) were acknowledged for empowering citizen scientists with tools and resources essential to effective water quality monitoring. 

Biological field stations: Keeping a pulse on our planet

A recent BioScience paper provides the first comprehensive inventory of the world’s biological field stations. Its authors report 1,268 stations are operating in 120 countries – from the tropics to the tundra, monitoring terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.

shannon ladeau

Zika: Are outbreaks in U.S. cities avoidable?

When it comes to addressing emerging infectious disease, we have a short attention span. Forces are mobilized when we’ve crossed a tipping point, and demobilized when the immediate threat has passed. 

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."

De-Extinction, a risky ecological experiment

Genetic engineering may allow us to rebirth close facsimiles of extinct species. But would bringing back a few individuals of a famously gregarious bird like the passenger pigeon truly revive the species, when the great oak forests that sustained them are gone? And if it succeeds, what if the birds don't fit in anymore in our changed world?

Beating Zika in the wild

Fighting mosquitoes is no walk in the park. A disease ecologist describes the landscape of mosquito-borne diseases here in the United States.

Water a key factor in Zika virus spread

The World Health Organization on Monday declared the spread of the Zika virus to be a public health emergency of international concern due to its potential link to microcephaly, a birth defect that causes abnormal head and brain development.

The serious downsides of road salt

Storm Jonas made it clear how important road salt is for keeping the streets and sidewalks of New York City clear of snow and ice. The Department of Sanitation had more than 300,000 tons of it on hand to deal with Jonas, more than the weight of three aircraft carriers.

City lights, urban sprawl, and uncovering the future of ecology with Dr. Peter Groffman

"For a long time in environmental science we've done a pretty good job of keeping people outside the box of ecosystems" says Dr. Peter Groffman, who studies the microbial and chemical ecology of urban landscapes and waterways.

Dr. Joshua Ginsberg on the Paris Agreement

Recently we asked Dr. Joshua Ginsberg, president of the Cary Institute, for his thoughts about the Paris climate change accord, or the Paris Agreement, signed by 195 nations in December. Although he admits that there are flaws — it falls short of the reductions in greenhouse gasses scientists believe necessary and is a voluntary, and therefore non-binding, agreement — he believes it is “a real step forward” that establishes a framework for moving ahead.

There's a secret world under the snow, and it's in trouble

As much of the U.S. East Coast continues to dig out from last week's historic blizzard, it's easy to think of snow as a disruptive force that causes normal life to come to a standstill. While that might be true for large cities and the people who live in them, it is not true for wildlife—especially wild animals that have long made their homes in the fields and forests

Got dams or culverts? Speak up and help save fish

A public-private partnership is hoping to make travel a bit easier for Hudson Valley fish by figuring out all the places where fish can't get there from here, and then fixing as many of them as possible.

Lake Poopo

Bolivia’s second-largest lake has evaporated

What was once Bolivia's second-largest lake is now almost entirely gone, turned into a barren expanse of salty earth that's littered with dead fish and abandoned boats.

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.

Lake Poopo

Bolivia's second largest lake has dried out. Can it be saved?

Bolivia's second largest lake, Poopó, has all but dried up, threatening the livelihood of fishing communities and spelling ecological disaster for hundreds of species. The Bolivian government is blaming dry weather spurred by El Niño and a changing climate, but that's not the whole story.

Cary scientists win prestigious John H. Martin Award

The John H. Martin Award recognizes a paper in aquatic sciences that is judged to have had a high impact on subsequent research in the field. The 2016 Martin Award is for "Carbon dioxide supersaturation in the surface waters of lakes" by Jonathan Cole, Nina Caraco, George Kling and Tim Kratz. Cole et al (1994) documented that lakes are often supersaturated with CO2 and focused attention on inland waters as sources of carbon to the atmosphere.

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