Discoveries Archive

  • A Step in the Right Direction thumbnail

    A Step in the Right Direction

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2010
    Good news stories about the environment can seem hard to find these days, which makes it nice to report that power plants across the country…

  • Torching the Invaders thumbnail

    Torching the Invaders

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2010
    The more researchers learn about barberry, the more they find to dislike about it. The thorny perennial shrub escaped from cultivated landscapes after being introduced…

  • Whole-Tree Harvesting Might Not Deplete Calcium thumbnail

    Whole-Tree Harvesting Might Not Deplete Calcium

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2010
    A renewed interest has emerged in recent years in whole-tree harvesting, a practice that has been scorned by many as dangerous to the health of…

  • Bright Berries Beloved by Birds thumbnail

    Bright Berries Beloved by Birds

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2010
    Health-conscious humans have long known that brightly colored vegetables are healthier than blandly colored ones; turns out, songbirds also pay attention to color when it…

  • Caterpillars: Some Like it Hot thumbnail

    Caterpillars: Some Like it Hot

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2010
    Dartmouth College Professor Richard Holmes has been counting caterpillars at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest for more than 20 years. He was mostly interested in…

  • Poplar Genetics thumbnail

    Poplar Genetics

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2010
    After helping to decipher the genome of the poplar tree in 2006 and finding it had 45,000 different genes, University of Toronto Professor Malcolm Campbell…

  • Wind Turbines and Migrating Bats thumbnail

    Wind Turbines and Migrating Bats

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2010
    The push for new wind power facilities across the country is driving research to understand the various ecological impacts wind turbines may have. One such…

  • Clearings For Courtship thumbnail

    Clearings For Courtship

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2010
    Two wildlife biologists in Rhode Island studying how forest-dwelling game birds make use of their habitat found that the birds unexpectedly exhibited what one described…

  • Red Maple Jumps To An Early Lead thumbnail

    Red Maple Jumps To An Early Lead

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2010
    Red maple trees are becoming increasingly dominant in forests throughout the eastern United States, and that worries Kim Steiner. A professor of forest biology at…

  • Hope On The Eastern Front thumbnail

    Hope On The Eastern Front

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2010
    Eastern hemlock forests are under siege by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, but a University of Massachusetts researcher thinks there is reason to be optimistic…

  • Predicting Fishless Lakes thumbnail

    Predicting Fishless Lakes

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2009
    The woods of Maine host the greatest abundance of fishless lakes in the Northeast, but their abundance is declining due to state-sanctioned fish stocking for…

  • Where the Cellulose Meets the Road thumbnail

    Where the Cellulose Meets the Road

    Winter 2009
    Wooden tires went out of style a century ago, along with buggy whips and horse-drawn wagons, but if an Oregon State University researcher has anything…

  • Digging for Worms thumbnail

    Digging for Worms

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2009
    When Colgate University biologist Tim McCay began studying the impact of acid rain on soils and forest-dwelling animals in the Adirondacks, he started by heading…

  • The Power of Trees thumbnail

    The Power of Trees

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2009
    When scientists and students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hammered a nail into a tree on campus and wired it to a metal rod…

  • Some Like it Moist thumbnail

    Some Like it Moist

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2009
    Like Hagenbuch, Laurie Richmond was interested in learning more about the impact that forestry practices have on wildlife. Earlier research had shown that forest harvesting…

  • Birds in the Bush thumbnail

    Birds in the Bush

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2009
    A considerable amount of research has been conducted about the impact of timber management on bird habitat, but few if any scientific studies have examined…

  • Tempest in a Teapot thumbnail

    Tempest in a Teapot

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2009
    Manipulating ecosystems to affect biodiversity and examine species interactions can be an overwhelming challenge, especially when trying to understand complete food webs. Unless, that is,…

  • 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…