Fossil Pollen Analysis of Tsuga canadensis decline in Larkum Pond in Otis, Massachusetts

Fossil pollen analysis of sediment cores can provide data which is important to the reconstruction of the local flora and indicate patterns of disturbance. In this study, core samples taken from Larkum Pond in Otis, Massachusetts in February of 2007, were analyzed to identify evidence of the mid-Holocene decline of the eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). Also, we will speculate as to its cause and comment on its ecological implications. It is hypothesized that there will be an observable decline of eastern hemlock across the sediment core sample depths. Analysis of the fossil pollen data show a marked decrease in the proportion of hemlock and an increase in the proportion of shade-tolerant, early-successional species such as beech and birch. Pine also showed an increase but to a lesser extent, presumably due to its shade-intolerant characteristic.

Sustainability Case Study: The Paper Industry

The future of the paper industry is finite. Based on capitalistic models of business, profits must continue to grow while costs are continually pressured to remain low. Considering that the paper and wood pulp industry is heavily regulated in the United States, the extent to which the industry pollutes is contingent on the integrity of the regulations set forth. The growth of the industry since the industrial revolution has affected the legal landscape along with other large industries such as plastics, textiles, and petroleum products. Within the past two centuries, advancements in paper-making technologies, increase in global commerce, and the low cost of paper products has led to alarming increases in paper consumption which has caused significant environmental damage and untoward social implications.

The Effects of Salinity on Freshwater Copepods

Calcium chloride, among other sources of nonpoint source pollution, can be detrimental to aquatic species in rivers and streams. Calcium chloride (CaCl2) enters waterways primarily through runoff from impervious surfaces such as roads and storm drains in the form of road deicer. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of salinity on freshwater copepod survival under laboratory conditions. Over a 7-day study period under lab conditions, 3 groups of copepods were exposed to 2 PSU (Practical Saline Units), 4 PSU and 6 PSU CaCl2 solutions. Survival rates were recorded and analyzed using Microsoft Excel running paired, one-tailed t-tests. It was hypothesized that as calcium chloride concentrations increased there would be a lower survival rate between days 1 and 3 when compared to days 3 through 7, relative to controls. Although the data did not support the hypothesis that survival rate would be lower within the first three days, increased salinity negatively affected survival rates in both time distributions.