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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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?
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
With the official end of Ebola transmission across West Africa anticipated on 14 January, an epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in 2 years may be starting to fade into history. But that does not mean that Ebola has disappeared. The virus remains hidden in animal reservoirs, and is almost certain to spill over into humans again.
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.
Modern American urban ecology can be said to have come to fruition to a large extent in Baltimore. Of course there are other cities where parallel, reinforcing, or complementary research and engagement activities are taking place, and all contribute to the emerging edifice of contemporary urban ecology. But the work in Baltimore has a distinct flavor that helps understand what is novel about today's urban ecological science.