Adaptations Help Illustrate Importance of Biodiversity

Protection and restoration of open pine ecosystems — woodlands dominated by large pine trees spaced about 50 feet apart with sparse mid-story and shrub layers and a rich herbaceous layer — in the Coastal Plain of southern Arkansas has been a high priority of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and partners for over two decades.…  More 

Urban Forests & Stormwater Management

Raindrops that land on trees may never hit the ground. “Trees intercept a significant amount of rain,” says U.S. Forest Service science delivery specialist Eric Kuehler. Once intercepted by a leaf or branch, some rain evaporates. Some trickles down the tree’s stem and seeps into the soil. “Soil is the best place to store water,”…  More 

Chief’s Award, International Honors, and Director’s Awards

USDA Forest Service Recognition SRS research hydrologist Ge Sun received one of the highest honors in the agency, the Forest Service Chief’s Honor Award. At a ceremony in December in Washington, DC, Sun received recognition for “Applying Knowledge Globally.” This award recognizes his research productivity, leadership, and partnerships that have furthered understanding of the relationships among…  More 

Do Roads Drive Forest Plant Invasions?

Roads provide a means for moving people and products, but they can also allow hitchhiking organisms to spread. Some exotic invasive plants thrive on the disturbance created by road construction that displaces native plants. However, a new study led by Kurt Riitters, U.S. Forest Service research ecologist with the SRS Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center, found…  More 

Invasive Earthworms in the Food Web

Imagine walking through a forest, with leaves crunching beneath your feet. Underneath those crunchy leaves is a complex ecological realm. “Soil is teeming with life,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Mac Callaham. “Most people don’t think about it because they don’t see the soil fauna.” Soil fauna includes centipedes, millipedes, springtails, nematodes, insect larvae,…  More 

Forest Landowners’ Guide to the Federal Income Tax

Tax tips for forest landowners for the 2017 tax year are now available online. Linda Wang, the U.S. Forest Service national timber tax specialist, prepares the tips each year. More detailed information is available through a U.S. Department of Agriculture publication, the Forest Landowners Guide to the Federal Income Tax. Written by Southern Research Station…  More 

Bottomland Hardwood Restoration – What Happens Belowground?

If something looks like a forest, does it act like a forest? U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Mac Callaham, along with several colleagues, asked that question about bottomland hardwoods in west-central Mississippi. “Back in the late 1960s, there was a soybean boom, and a lot of bottomland forests were cleared for farming,” says Callaham. However,…  More 

The Many Dimensions of Tree Trunks

The taller a tree grows, the wider its trunk becomes. “It’s a fundamental relationship,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Dale Brockway. Scientists use math to describe this height-diameter relationship. But one of the mathematical constants – a scaling exponent of 2/3 – is not always so constant, according to a recent study by Brockway…  More 

Experimental Forests’ Road Data Go Digital

Many national and experimental forests are crisscrossed by gravel roads that contain culverts and other drainage structures. Some culverts may be overdue for maintenance, while others may be too small for extreme rainfall events. U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station scientists began assessing the capacity of these structures in 2016. The project spans the SRS…  More 

The Thorny Economics of Preventing Exotic Species Introductions

What if we lose tree species we know, love, and need? It has happened before. “Look at what happened to the American chestnut,” says U.S. Forest Service research forester Thomas Holmes. “Look at what’s happening right now to hemlock, redbay, and ash trees.” All three species, as well as many more, are threatened by non-native…  More