Researchers from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science laid underwater microphones on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to find out more about the ambient noise levels in the area off the coast of Maryland. They found that dolphins are simplifying their calls to be heard over noise from recreational boats and other vessels in nearby shipping lanes.

"It's kind of like trying to answer a question in a noisy bar and after repeated attempts to be heard, and just giving the shortest answer possible," said Helen Bailey.

Availability of nutrients to plants declines as climate warms

Global changes, including warming temperatures and increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, are causing a decrease in the availability of a key nutrient for terrestrial plants. This could affect the ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reduce the amount of nutrients available for the creatures that eat them. 

"Even if atmospheric carbon dioxide is stabilized at low enough levels to mitigate the most serious impacts of climate change, many terrestrial ecosystems will increasingly display signs of too little nitrogen as opposed to too much," said Andrew Elmore.
eDNA emerges as powerful tool for tracking threatened river herring in Chesapeake Bay
Using environmental DNA (eDNA) to track the presence of fish in waterways is emerging as a powerful tool to detect and understand the abundance of species in aquatic environments. In Chesapeake Bay, it  has the potential to assist monitoring efforts of threatened river herring, the basis of the food chain for striped bass and other creatures.

"Sampling a single river, you need a net, crew, permits, it can be expensive," said Louis Plough. "The eDNA approach is an alternative where you just take water and you get an idea of the abundance of fish."

Solomons PlasticWatch project aims to raise awareness about plastic in waterways

Scientists from the  Chesapeake Biological Laboratory are partnering with  restaurants on Solomons Island to  "make the switch" from common , single-use petroleum-based plastics, such as straws and take-out containers, to compostable and biodegradable products in an effort to keep harmful plastics out of waterways.

Next Generation: Christina Goethel on Arctic research
"I became interested in environmental and marine science after spending several summers helping my aunt beach comb for items for her marine science outreach program. In high school, I traveled to the Eastern Arctic and fell in love with it and decided I wanted to learn more about such a rapidly changing environment."

Watershed Moments Community Learning Series: Cat Wars
Appalachian Laboratory
November 15, 6:30-8 p.m.

Dr. Peter Marra will discuss his new book " Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer ," co-written with Chris Santella. He will present data on the threats free-ranging cats pose to biodiversity and public health throughout the world and shed new light on the controversies surrounding the management of the explosion of these cat populations. Free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first served basis. 

Science from the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay
Take a view from the mountains of the research being done by scientists at UMCES' Appalachian Laboratory in the latest Chesapeake Quarterly from Maryland Sea Grant College. Find out how longer growing seasons are affecting our forests (it's not what you think!), how the Clean Air Act has made our waterways healthier, how to track down buried streams, and more.

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Appalachian Laboratory - Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
Horn Point Laboratory - 
Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology
Integration and Application Network - Maryland Sea Grant