Discoveries Archive

  • Hydrophonics thumbnail

    Hydrophonics

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2017
    Plants and trees are seldom considered to have acute senses – at least, not like those of many mammals. But scientists at the University of… Read More »

  • Birds of the Forest

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2017
    In one of the longest-running studies of its kind in North America, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies has documented a 14.2-percent decrease in Vermont forest… Read More »

  • Hemlock Hydrology thumbnail

    Hemlock Hydrology

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2017
    Hemlock wooly adelgid, the invasive insect from Japan that is wiping out most of the hemlock forests in the eastern United States, is also having… Read More »

  • Living on the Edge thumbnail

    Living on the Edge

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2017
    As human population grows, forests often become more and more fragmented as trees are cut down to make way for roads, housing developments, office parks,… Read More »

  • Ups and Downs thumbnail

    Ups and Downs

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2017
    Many scientists have predicted that as the climate warms, most bird species in the Northern Hemisphere will shift their ranges northward or up the slopes… Read More »

  • Backyard Bee Bonanza thumbnail

    Backyard Bee Bonanza

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2017
    Lawns cover 63,000 square miles of the United States, making turf the largest irrigated crop in the country. As much as some ecologists consider lawns… Read More »

  • All Cleared Up thumbnail

    All Cleared Up

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2017
    A team of engineers at the University of Maryland has created transparent wood windows that are waterproof and less breakable than glass. What’s more, the… Read More »

  • Changes in Ranges thumbnail

    Changes in Ranges

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2017
    Researchers have long believed that the changing climate will force most species of birds to shift their ranges to follow their preferred climate niches. Rather… Read More »

  • A Secret Sensor

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2017
    Anyone who has paid even a little attention to plants and trees in late winter and early spring knows how responsive they are to temperature.… Read More »

  • Market Building for Norway Spruce thumbnail

    Market Building for Norway Spruce

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2016
    It has been more than 80 years since a tree species in the Northeast has been added to the list of those meeting construction industry… Read More »

  • Removing Those Dam Things thumbnail

    Removing Those Dam Things

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2016
    Most of the 14,000-plus dams that dot New England’s rivers and streams – almost all built more than a century ago – once provided power… Read More »

  • Cause and - Wait for It - Effect

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2016
    Twenty years ago, scientists experimented with adding calcium to forest soils and found that it boosted tree growth. Today, they’re seeing an unexpected spike in… Read More »

  • Monarch Migration Mystery thumbnail

    Monarch Migration Mystery

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2016
    The long, instinctive migration of monarch butterflies from the northern United States and Canada to their wintering grounds in central Mexico is considered one of… Read More »

  • Fewer Fires in the Forest thumbnail

    Fewer Fires in the Forest

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2016
    As the composition of tree species in forests in southern New England has evolved in recent decades, many of those forests have become more vulnerable… Read More »

  • Long-Distance Delivery thumbnail

    Long-Distance Delivery

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2016
    In the world of trees, it is difficult for seeds and seedlings to take root far from their parent plants, yet that’s a key factor… Read More »

  • Leaf Litter Stunner thumbnail

    Leaf Litter Stunner

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2016
    A team of researchers has been studying the effects of adding extra leaf litter and other organic matter to the soil in Harvard Forest for… Read More »

  • Deer in the Diet thumbnail

    Deer in the Diet

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2016
    Coyotes have become ubiquitous in the Northeast since they began colonizing the region in the 1920s. The conventional wisdom has been that coyotes are specialists… Read More »

  • Spruce Scrubbers thumbnail

    Spruce Scrubbers

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2016
    Trapping carbon dioxide before it exits power plants, vehicle exhaust pipes, and industrial smokestacks is believed by many experts to be a key step in… Read More »

  • Contamination Revelation thumbnail

    Contamination Revelation

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2016
    Abandoned industrial sites litter the world, and many are contaminated with pollutants that make it difficult to redevelop the land. Yet some species of trees… Read More »

  • The Rust of the Story thumbnail

    The Rust of the Story

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2016
    Rusty blackbird populations have declined by about 95 percent in the last 50 years, making their decline the fastest of any songbird in all of… Read More »