Research Press Release

Downstream effects

Nature Climate Change

October 29, 2012

Climatic changes are affecting the quality of municipal drinking water - via insect-induced tree mortality - in watersheds in Colorado, USA, reports a study published online this week in Nature Climate Change.

Kristin Mikkelson and colleagues find that large-scale forest die-off resulting from mountain-pine-beetle-infestation results in significantly higher levels of harmful disinfection by-products and total organic carbon in treatment facilities from infested basins compared with unaffected watersheds. This indicates that as climate change continues to alter ecosystem dynamics, water quality should be added to the list of potential impacts in need of monitoring.

DOI:10.1038/nclimate1724 | Original article

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