Our scientists are leaders in understanding how invasive species impact ecosystems. These plants and animals, moved outside of their natural range, are wreaking havoc on the quality of our forest and freshwater resources.
Because they were monitoring the Hudson River before the arrival of zebra mussels, Cary Institute scientists have been able to track how the invaders are transforming the river. Collaborative studies have shed light on how zebra mussels influence fish, native pearly mussels, and the tiny plants and animals at the base of the Hudson’s food web.
Our scientists are also researching how invaders are shaping our forests. Milder winters are expanding the range of insect pests. Ongoing studies in the Catskill Forest are looking at how beech bark disease and the hemlock wooly adelgid are altering the tree species that make up the forest, and its ability to buffer pollution and store carbon.
One of the best ways to manage invasive species is to prevent them from becoming established in the first place. To that end, several of our scientists are committed to educating decision makers about the environmental and economic burden of invaders and promoting management measures that will prevent new introductions.
Hemlock is a "foundation" tree species in eastern forests and its presence defines the properties of a unique ecosystem that is presently declining due to the introduction and spread of an invasive insect, the hemlock woolly adelgid.
Zebra mussels appeared in the Hudson in 1991 and fundamentally transformed the ecosystem. The zebra mussel invasion is linked to losses of native mussels and changes in the fish community.
This project is focused on the consequences of the invasion of the beech bark disease (BBD) in northern hardwood forests, which dominate the uplands of the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada.
Presentation by Gary Lovett for a land stewardship management forum hosted at Cary on April 12, 2014.
Anyone that has spent time at a seaside pier has witnessed the destruction barnacles wreak on boat hulls. But biofouling animals are not limited to marine environments
In the late 1800s, mute swans were brought from Europe to the eastern U.S. to enhance the beauty of ponds on private estates.
In Ballard Park in Ridgefield, there are some lovely, thick-trunked, big-canopied beech trees, perfect for providing shade on a summer's day. They are old trees and despite their beauty, they're not healthy. They have beech bark disease.
Cary scientists David Strayer and Emma Rosi-Marshall delivered expert testimony at a May 5, 2013 congressional briefing that highlighted problems with aquatic invasive species and “natural infrastructure” solutions. The briefing took place on Capitol Hill as the U.S. Senate debated the Water Resources Development Act.
A short documentary by the American Museum of Natural History. The video highlights zebra mussels in the Hudson River and the Cary research that closely analyzed the river before, during and after the invasion.
Recent articles about "Wildlife & Habitat".
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.
Recent articles about "Land-use & Human Impacts".
In the Hudson Valley, our forests have been shaped by human activities, which have often altered and hidden the roles played by natural processes like climate and soil fertility. For thousands of years, we have been manipulating local plant communities.
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343