To bugs in streams, fine sediment is not so fine

Clearing land for agriculture often leads to decreased flow velocities and in increase in fine sediment additions in nearby streams. While many stream bugs rely on small fine sediments, too much of it can detrimentally affect them. Changes to flow velocities and inputs of fine sediment in affected streams are not always equal in magnitude, so an experiment was run to see the responses of aquatic macroinvertebrates to various combinations of flow and sediment conditions. The scientists found fine sediments negatively impacted almost all stream bugs and that low flows exacerbated the problem.

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Pollution in Polish Rivers, and the Cucumber Solution

Pollution is dangerous, both to humans and the ecosystems we care about. But researchers in Poland have studied the sources and dynamic movement of pollutants in rivers, and may have found potential in cucumbers to help improve the system.

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Hot tree summer: Measuring the effects of the 2017 heat wave on Europe’s forests

Plants are always just trying to live their best life, but sometimes high temperatures and a lack of water get in the way of that. In this study, scientists studied a heat wave that occurred in southern Europe in summer 2017 to see how different plants fared across the region.

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The Color of Water Policy

What’s your favorite color – blue, or green? Water policy has focused traditionally on blue water (ground or surface water released into the atmosphere by evaporation), but there’s more to the water-use equation. To understand water use and availability more broadly, researchers are now considering the value and availability of green water (that which is released back to the atmosphere by plants). In this paper, green-water use and availability is investigated at a global scale, leading the authors to advocate for inclusion of green water into water policy considerations.

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Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products Alter Lake Food Webs

The pharmaceutical and personal care products we use daily enter aquatic environments. Phytoplankton, or microscopic algae, are important pieces of the aquatic food chain. Phytoplankton exposed to pharmaceutical and personal care products in two Norwegian lakes responded quickly and dramatically – altering their community structure. The effects of these compounds on phytoplankton suggest these compounds have the potential to alter the food webs of entire aquatic ecosystems.

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Microplastics take flight—how mosquitoes move microscopic pollutants from water to land

Discarded plastics aren’t only disrupting the ocean, they accumulate in freshwaters too. And the impacts may not end there. Aquatic insects eat microplastics and, when they become adults, carry the polluting particles from water onto land and potentially into the stomachs of their predators.

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