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Articles on Ecology

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Scientists have used author Henry David Thoreau’s notes to inform studies of climate change in eastern Massachusetts. Tom Stohlman/Flickr

By fact-checking Thoreau’s observations at Walden Pond, we showed how old diaries and specimens can inform modern research

Journals, museum collections and other historical sources can provide valuable data for modern ecological studies. But just because a source is old doesn’t make it useful.
A raccoon with a fish at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Fla. Michael Siluk/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What is a wetland? An ecologist explains

The US Supreme Court opens its 2022-2023 term with a case that could greatly reduce federal protection for wetlands. Here is what makes these ecosystems valuable.
Maria Elena Paredes, coordinator of the Community Vigilance Committee for the Ashéninka community of Sawawo Hito 40, points to satellite images showing deforestation. Reynaldo Vela/USAID

Indigenous defenders stand between illegal roads and survival of the Amazon rainforest – Brazil’s election could be a turning point

Illegal roads have brought deforestation, fire and other environmental damage to the Amazon. The results of the 2022 presidential runoff could have a major impact for the future.
The round goby is an invasive fish that has become established in the St. Lawrence River over the past two decades, following its introduction into the Great Lakes. (Cristina Charette)

St. Lawrence River zones that are hostile to invasive species can be refuges for native fish

Wetlands can help limit the spread of the voracious round goby, an invasive species that has infiltrated the Great Lakes and has become widespread in the St. Lawrence River.
Sunscreens for sale at a Walgreens drug store. Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Do chemicals in sunscreens threaten aquatic life? A new report says a thorough assessment is ‘urgently needed,’ while also calling sunscreens essential protection against skin cancer

Rising concern about possible environmental damage from the active ingredients in sunscreens could have ripple effects on public health if it causes people to use less of them.
A study showed that an endangered population of beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River had one of the world’s highest concentrations of the flame retardant, PBDE, in their blubber. (Shutterstock)

Banned flame retardants continue to accumulate in the St. Lawrence River and the whales and fish that live there

Flame retardants are added to consumer products — and end up in the environment and harming aquatic wildlife.

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