Pet fish pose potential lake problems

Read the full story in the Detroit News.

From his commercial fishing boat in Lake Erie, Nathan Newsome has seen all kinds of fish. And he will be the first to say he has an eye for something that doesn’t belong in Michigan waters.

From thousands of goldfish to varieties such as carp, the Great Lakes are full of invasive and non-invasive species — especially those apparently put there by pet owners who think there is no harm in freeing them into the state’s streams, rivers or lakes.

New IDOT Mowing Approach to Help Protect Monarch Butterfly, Pollinator Populations in Illinois

Read the full story from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

To help revive the shrinking populations of the monarch butterfly and other pollinators, the Illinois Department of Transportation is adjusting its mowing routine along state highways this spring and summer. The approach, part of IDOT’s overall effort to encourage green and sustainable practices in all its programs and projects, will help to re-establish types of plants that are food sources for bees, butterflies and other insects that are native to Illinois.

Bumblebee populations higher in Detroit than in some less-urbanized areas; vacant lots could be a factor

Read the full story from the University of Michigan.

A new study of native bumblebee populations in southeastern Michigan cities found, surprisingly, that Detroit has more of the large-bodied bees than some surrounding, less urbanized locations.

When birds of a feather poop together: Excessive birds feces and algal blooms

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Algal blooms deplete oxygen in lakes, produce toxins, and end up killing aquatic life in the lake. Researchers are tracing the role of bird feces, which are rich in phosphorus and nitrogen.

Exposure to BPA potentially induces permanent reprogramming of painted turtles’ brains

Read the full story in Science Daily.

BPA is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as food storage containers and water bottles. In previous studies, researchers determined that BPA can disrupt sexual function and behavior in painted turtles. Now, the team has identified the genetic pathways that are altered as a result of BPA exposure during early development.

American Trees Are Moving West, and No One Knows Why

Read the full story in The Atlantic.

As the consequences of climate change strike across the United States, ecologists have a guiding principle about how they think plants will respond. Cold-adapted plants will survive if they move “up”—that is, as they move further north (away from the tropics) and higher in elevation (away from the warm ground).

A new survey of how tree populations have shifted over the past three decades finds that this effect is already in action. But there’s a twist: Even more than moving poleward, trees are moving west.

New law requires native plants along N.J. highways

Read the full story at Newsworks.

Drive along any New Jersey state highway during the spring and the welcome sight of budding vegetation is a sight for sore eyes after the barren winter months.

Soon, thanks to legislation signed into law by Governor Chris Christie, the highway vegetation will be native to New Jersey.