Discoveries Archive

  • Fighting Fire Without Fire thumbnail

    Fighting Fire Without Fire

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2009
    In areas where even a light controlled burn can be dangerous to surrounding communities, forestry officials at the Montague Plains Wildlife Management Area in west-central…

  • Greater Fires Mean Greater Diversity thumbnail

    Greater Fires Mean Greater Diversity

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2009
    When it comes to fires, forest management practices across the U.S. have evolved considerably in recent decades, from complete fire suppression in all forests to…

  • Invasive Pest Knocked Out thumbnail

    Invasive Pest Knocked Out

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2009
    The United States has been under assault for decades by a wide variety of alien plants and animals, and it is not often that one…

  • Lessons from the Ice Storm thumbnail

    Lessons from the Ice Storm

    by Dave Mance III | Spring 2009
    On December 11 and 12, 2008, a major ice storm coated trees in New England and upstate New York with layers of limb-snapping ice. While…

  • Sneaky Squirrels thumbnail

    Sneaky Squirrels

    by Anne Margolis | Spring 2009
    Next time you’re watching your favorite backyard squirrel, think about this: she may be watching you, too. Scientists have discovered that gray squirrels deliberately mislead…

  • Cascade in Still Water

    by Anne Margolis | Winter 2008
    Scientists have long known that high concentrations of pesticides can be toxic to frogs, toads, and salamanders. What is less well known is the effect…

  • A Song is Worth Five Stars

    by Anne Margolis | Autumn 2008
    Would you choose to eat in a restaurant based solely on the cool jazz wafting out the windows and the hip name over the doorway?…

  • Picky Bees Suffer Most thumbnail

    Picky Bees Suffer Most

    by Anne Margolis | Autumn 2008
    The plight of bees has been a hot news topic over the past few years. Scientists are still exploring a number of theories to explain…

  • Tree Leaves Regulate Their Own Temperature thumbnail

    Tree Leaves Regulate Their Own Temperature

    by Dave Mance III | Autumn 2008
    When temperatures linger around 60 degrees, most people reach for light jackets or flannel shirts; conversely, when the mercury hits 80, we don shorts and…

  • Amphibians Move Out

    by Anne Margolis | Summer 2008
    There’s no shortage of studies about the effects of timber harvesting on amphibians. And there’s not much discrepancy between studies: generally, the heavier the cut,…

  • Invasive Bullies thumbnail

    Invasive Bullies

    by 2008 | Summer 2008
    When a plant or animal is moved from its native homeland to a new territory, and it thrives to the detriment of native plants and…

  • New Suspect in Frog Deaths thumbnail

    New Suspect in Frog Deaths

    by Anne Margolis | Spring 2008
    Kermit the Frog once sang, “It’s not easy bein’ green.” His melancholy was well placed. It is not a good time to be a frog:…

  • Tums for Trees

    by Paul Schaberg | Spring 2008
    Acid rain leaches calcium and other nutrients from forest ecosystems. In places where soil calcium levels are naturally low, where acid rain inputs are high,…

  • Proof Is in the Bark thumbnail

    Proof Is in the Bark

    by Anne Margolis | Spring 2008
    Tree bark can act as a record of all sorts of events: lightning, fire, mechanical scrapes, and even the brief spark of youthful passion, carved…

  • Milkweed Evolves To Shrug Off Predation thumbnail

    Milkweed Evolves To Shrug Off Predation

    by Krishna Ramanujan | Winter 2008
    The adage that your enemies know your weaknesses best is especially true in the case of plants and predators that have co-evolved. As the predators…

  • Thinned Thickets Lose Hare thumbnail

    Thinned Thickets Lose Hare

    by Naomi Heindel, photo by Charles H. Willey | Winter 2007
    Until a recent study, little was known about the effects of intensive forestry practices on snowshoe hares in northern forests. After studying hare populations following…

  • Risky Childhood Begets Long-Legged Frogs thumbnail

    Risky Childhood Begets Long-Legged Frogs

    by Anne Margolis | Autumn 2007
    It’s easy to blame your parents if you’re shy or reckless or overly self-critical. Nature may play a role, but nurture (or junior high) is…

  • Whey to Help Hemlocks thumbnail

    Whey to Help Hemlocks

    by Anne Margolis | Summer 2007
    Hemlock woolly adelgid, the tiny but mighty scourge of hemlocks from Tennessee to as far north as southern Maine and New Hampshire, may soon face…

  • Wasting Disease Found in Deer Saliva and Muscles thumbnail

    Wasting Disease Found in Deer Saliva and Muscles

    by Anne Margolis | Spring 2007
    As chronic wasting disease hovers at our doorstep, recent discoveries about how this disease spreads – and the parts of the deer it affects –…

  • Headwater Logging Makes Food for Trout thumbnail

    Headwater Logging Makes Food for Trout

    by Anne Margolis | Winter 2006
    Brook trout are often cited as “indicator species” of stream health. They require clean, cold water, so finding them in abundance means you have an…