Discoveries Archive

  • Stopping Swallowworts thumbnail

    Stopping Swallowworts

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2018
    A new tool has been approved in the fight to control invasive pale and black swallowworts, and it’s a good sign for monarch butterflies. The

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  • A Salt Assault

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2018
    The application of road salt to highways, sidewalks, and parking lots has resulted in improved winter driving and walking conditions. But salt is easily dissolved. It leaches

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  • Troubling Trends for Urban Trees

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2018
    Trees in urban areas provide tremendous benefits to society. They remove air pollution, reduce energy use, filter storm-water runoff, and reduce ultraviolet radiation. They also improve the

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  • Cankers Caused by the Climate thumbnail

    Cankers Caused by the Climate

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2018
    A native fungal pathogen that was once considered relatively harmless has become increasingly damaging to eastern white pines since the late 1990s, and stressed, weakened trees appear

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  • Rotten Luck thumbnail

    Rotten Luck

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2018
    Most microorganisms that digest and recycle woody material do so by producing enzymes that accelerate chemical reactions to break down molecular compounds in the wood. Brown-rot fungi,

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  • Seeing the Light

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2018
    The recent decline in the population of bees and other pollinators because of pesticides, climate change, diseases, and other causes has raised alarms among those concerned about

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  • Serving Up Seeds thumbnail

    Serving Up Seeds

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2017
    Small mammals like squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and voles play a surprisingly significant role in determining the tree composition of most forests. That role is based largely on

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  • Go Easy on the Salt thumbnail

    Go Easy on the Salt

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2017
    Applying salt to snowy roadways is an effective way of melting snow and ice and making driving safer. But what happens when that salty snowmelt runs off

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  • Old Growth Quickly

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2017
    Landowners seeking to make money selling carbon credits while also continuing to sell timber have a new forestry technique to consider. A University of Vermont forest ecologist

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  • 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 Western Australia

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  • 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 birds over

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  • 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 a significant

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  • 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, and shopping

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  • 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 of mountains

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  • 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 to be biological

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  • 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

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  • 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 than adapting

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  • 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. In years

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  • 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 standards, but that

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  • 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

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