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.
Are invasive species killing us? This question must sound a little over the top if you think that invasive species are just garden pests, but history is filled with examples where they've killed humans.
Microbial Ecologist Peter Groffman comments on a new study that links increased CO2 and nitrous oxide emissions with worm-ridden soils.
Nearly every day, we read about problems caused by invaders like the emerald ash borer killing trees across New York, West Nile virus killing people across the United State (1,499 so far), zebra mussels clogging water intakes and changing the Great Lakes and Hudson River ecosystems and Burmese pythons eating everything in the Everglades.
Cary Institute’s Gary Lovett discusses how several invasive species are ravaging regional forests.
In the northeastern U.S., all earthworms are non-native. And they are damaging our forest habitats.
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 "Land-use & Human Impacts".
As part of her ongoing work to assess how human activity affects freshwater resources, aquatic ecologist Emma Rosi-Marshall spent this past summer studying nutrient cycling in large western rivers.
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343