River Ecology

Investigating the effect of zebra mussels on the Hudson River

New York State's Hudson River has seen many changes, but perhaps none more dramatic than the arrival of the zebra mussel in 1991, and its rapid spread. Understanding environmental changes like this one means looking at the whole ecosystem: the web of interactions among organisms and their physical environment. Biologists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies have been studying the Hudson's freshwater tidal ecosystem since 1987. They look for patterns and connections in order to understand how the river is changing, and might change in the future.

This website gives you access to the actual data these scientists have collected about the river: factors like the cloudiness of the water, its temperature, and how many and what types of organisms live in it. Use the graphing tool to look for patterns that connect the dynamic parts of this ecosystem. Can you help the scientists investigate the effects of the zebra mussel invasion?

This project is a collaboration between the American Museum of Natural History and The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

Funding for this web site provided by the National Science Foundation

Grant # DRL-0918560

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.