Hudson River, invasive species, streams
Dave Strayer is a freshwater ecologist whose current work focuses on measuring the long-term effects of zebra mussels on the Hudson River ecosystem, and understanding the roles of suspension-feeding animals in ecosystems. Strayer also works on broader issues in freshwater conservation ecology and invasion biology.
Species introductions are one of the most important ways by which humans affect the Earth’s ecosystems. Strayer has been involved in much research in this area, particularly regarding the zebra mussel. This tiny bivalve arrived in North America from Europe in the 1980s and has caused hundreds of millions of dollars in economic damage and widespread ecological change.
Water clarity, water chemistry, food webs, and populations of native species, including fish, in the Hudson River all changed after zebra mussels arrived. Now, decades after their first appearance, Strayer and Cary scientists see evidence of fundamental long-term changes in the relationship between the river and the invader. The Cary group has been tracking this changing relationship for almost 30 years, providing one of the longest and most detailed case studies in invasion ecology.
Strayer also works on the ecology and conservation of native pearly mussels, a highly diverse and imperiled group of animals. He wrote Freshwater Mussel Ecology: A Multifactor Approach to Distribution and Abundance.
Zebra mussels and pearly mussels are examples of suspension-feeders – animals that feed by removing tiny particles from the water. These animals can have large, pervasive effects on aquatic ecosystems. Strayer is currently working to synthesize information and understanding of freshwater suspension-feeders across a wide range of species and ecosystems.
Discover catfish that eat pigeons, mussels that seduce fish, the world's largest water lilies, and lakes with the pH of battery acid. Dave Strayer talks about our planet's inland waters and the rich diversity of life that they support.
Letter urges opposition to a bill that would eliminate states' authority to protect waterways from ships' polluted discharges, making it easier for non-native species to invade the Hudson River and Great Lakes.
Testimony of David Strayer before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources on proposed legislation seeking exemptions from the Lacey Act.
De-extinction, or the act of bringing extinct species back from the dead, has been riding a wave of enthusiasm. Nearly 2 million people have watched Steward Brand's TED talk on the topic, and Beth Shapiro's book How to Clone a Mammoth has received rave reviews.
North America's endemic flock of ~300 species has been identified by The Nature Conservancy as the most imperiled group of plants or animals on the continent; dozens of species are already extinct and >100 species are in danger of extinction.