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Forest ecology shapes Lyme disease risk in the eastern US

In the eastern US, risk of contracting Lyme disease is higher in fragmented forests with high rodent densities and low numbers of resident fox, opossum, and raccoons. These are among the findings from an analysis of 19 years of data on the ecology of tick-borne disease in a forested landscape

Emerald ash borer

Imported forest pests: What are the impacts and who pays?

Imported pests threaten forest health, local economies, and the benefits trees provide to cities and communities.

Hippo waste causes fish kills in Africa’s Mara River

Ecologists have long known that agricultural and sewage pollution can cause low oxygen conditions and fish kills in rivers. A study published today in Nature Communications reports that hippo waste can have a similar effect in Africa’s Mara River, which passes through the world renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve of Kenya, home to more than 4,000 hippos.

Road salt pollutes drinking water wells in suburban New York State

Study reveals hotspots and landscape features linked to elevated salt in wells

Rats, cats, and people trade-off as main course for mosquitoes in Baltimore, MD

Social and ecological dynamics of neighborhoods influence who mosquitoes bite

biomass

Wood pellets: Renewable, but not carbon neutral

A return to firewood is bad for forests and the climate. So reports William Schlesinger, President Emeritus of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, in an Insights article published today in the journal Science.

Long-term monitoring is essential to effective environmental policy

Environmental policy guided by science saves lives, money, and ecosystems. So reports a team of eleven senior researchers in Environmental Science & Policy. Using air pollution in the United States as a case study, they highlight the success of cleanup strategies backed by long-term environmental monitoring. 

In urban streams, pharmaceutical pollution is driving microbial resistance

In urban streams, persistent pharmaceutical pollution can cause aquatic microbial communities to become resistant to drugs.

Fire hydrant covered in road salt. Image by Allison Cekala.

US rivers and streams are compromised by increasing salt loads

Human activities are exposing US rivers and streams to a cocktail of salts, with consequences for infrastructure and drinking water supplies.

Lake Mohonk and Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY

Understanding the world's lakes takes center stage at GLEON 19

More than 240 scientists and researchers from around the world recently descended on the Hudson Valley to strengthen an international partnership aimed at studying and understanding the world’s lakes.

Pharmaceutical pollution accumulates in watersheds

Low dose, constant drip: Pharmaceuticals & personal care products impact aquatic life

When it comes to common chemicals in streams, the dose doesn't always make the poison for aquatic life

$2M NSF grant harnesses big data & AI to advance disease prevention

Team to develop tools to map areas at risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks with new NSF grant

Cyanobacterial bloom on Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire

Researchers take to tech to study toxic cyanobacteria with $1.47M NASA grant

With support from a $1.47 million grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Dartmouth, and the University of New Hampshire are developing high-tech tools to monitor cyanobacteria in lakes, predict impending blooms, and identify factors that are degrading water quality.  

Baltimore Ecosystem Study partners with Baltimore City Public Schools

Through a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) is partnering with Baltimore City Public Schools to transform the way that chemistry is taught in the city’s high schools. The innovative approach draws on data gathered by BES to convey how chemistry shapes the local environment.

Sustainable recreational fisheries focus of $1.5 million NSF grant

With support from a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant, Christopher Solomon, an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, is co-leading a study assessing links among people, lakes, and fish in the Northern Highland Lake District in Wisconsin, a region where fishing holds tremendous value economically, socially, and culturally. 

Author Rachel Breyta inspects a one-year-old steelhead trout for signs of IHNV exposure.

Tracking the spread of a deadly fish virus in the Pacific Northwest

A recent Ecology and Evolution study is the first to explore how IHNV spreads among juvenile hatchery-raised fish in the Pacific Northwest, where high rates of infection and mortality can occur. 

toilet sampling

In urban Baltimore, poor neighborhoods have more mosquitoes

A new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology reports that in Baltimore, Maryland, neighborhoods with high levels of residential abandonment are hotspots for tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus). This environmental injustice may leave low-income urban residents more vulnerable to mosquito-borne disease.

Wildebeest feast: Mass drownings fuel the Mara River ecosystem

Each year, more than a million wildebeest migrate through Africa’s Serengeti Mara Ecosystem. While crossing the Kenyan reach of the Mara River, thousands perish. A new study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to reveal how wildebeest drownings impact the ecology of the iconic river.

Inaccurate IUCN range maps leave birds endemic to India’s Western Ghats vulnerable

Range maps used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) fall short of protecting birds endemic to the Western Ghats, a mountainous biodiversity hotspot in southern India. 

North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier

North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier due to development and exposure to road salt. A study of 371 lakes published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that many Midwestern and Northeastern lakes are experiencing increasing chloride trends, with some 44% of lakes sampled in these regions undergoing long-term salinization.

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.

papers graph

Synthetic chemicals: Ignored agents of global change

Despite a steady rise in the manufacture and release of synthetic chemicals, research on the ecological effects of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals is severely lacking. This blind spot undermines efforts to address global change and achieve sustainability goals.

Ecological consequences of amphetamine pollution in urban streams

Pharmaceutical and illicit drugs are present in streams in Baltimore, Maryland. At some sites, amphetamine concentrations are high enough to alter the base of the aquatic food web. 

Artificial intelligence reveals undiscovered bat carriers of Ebola and other filoviruses

A team of scientists has developed a model that can predict bat species most likely to transmit Ebola and other filoviruses. Findings highlight new potential hosts and geographic hotspots worthy of surveillance. So reports a new paper in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Neutralizing acidic forest soils boosts tree growth, causes spike in nitrogen export

A legacy of acid rain has acidified forest soils throughout the northeastern US, lowering the growth rate of trees. In an attempt to mitigate this trend, in 1999 scientists added calcium to an experimental forest in New Hampshire. Tree growth recovered, but a decade later there was a major increase in the nitrogen content of stream water draining the site. 

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