Department News

Backroad traffic in Maine: Canada lynx in noisy face-off

September 01, 2017

A couple of motorists last weekend had the uncommon privilege of seeing not one but two Canada lynx working out some issues on an unpaved forest road in the heartland of Maine.

It’s rare to spot a lynx at all, let alone a pair of them: the lanky wildcats tend to be elusive wherever they’re found, including in this northernmost New England state, the vast, sparsely populated conifer backwoods of which make one of their most important strongholds in the contiguous US.

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UMaine researchers to unveil wild bee habitat assessment tool July 19

University of Maine researchers have developed a tool called “BeeMapper” that will allow blueberry growers to assess the predicted wild bee abundance in the landscape surrounding their crop fields. They will debut and demonstrate the computer-based tool on Wednesday, July 19 at the UMaine Cooperative Extension annual Wild Blueberry Summer Field Day at Blueberry Hill Farm in Jonesboro.

“Having a better understanding of the predicted wild bee abundance in the landscape surrounding crop fields is important when making pollination management decisions,” says UMaine doctoral candidate Brianne Du Clos, who led the development of BeeMapper with funding from the university’s Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainable Solutions.

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In nature, the littlest things can have the biggest impact

July 10, 2017

Springtime in the Maine woods. Melting snow soaks the forest floor. Rain spills off pale new leaves into growing puddles. Tiny egg cases that endured the winter hidden in the leaf litter begin to thaw out in the water and sun. They hatch, releasing tiny translucent crustaceans known as fairy shrimp.

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Long-term study links tree seeds, rodent population fluctuations

Using data from a 33-year population study, University of Maine researchers have found evidence that various tree species can affect rodent populations in different ways.

The results advance the understanding of interactions between seeds and rodents, as well as complex population fluctuations, according to the researchers.

The study was led by then-master of wildlife conservation student Ryo Ogawa and Alessio Mortelliti, an assistant professor of wildlife habitat ecology at UMaine.

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The big ecological roles of small natural features

July 5, 2017

Ecologists and conservationists have long recognized that keystone species have major ecological importance disproportionate to their abundance or size. Think beavers, sea stars and prairie dogs—species that keep a ecosystem balanced.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-big-ecological-roles-small-natural.html#jCp

Researchers to Study Effects of Climate Change in Acadia National Park

April 2017

Three scientists have been awarded fellowships to conduct research in Acadia National Park as part of Second Century Stewardship, an initiative of the National Park Service, Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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