Southern Pine Ecology & Management (RWU 4159)

Image of Pine Trees

The Southern Pine Ecology and Management Research Work Unit (SRS-4159), headquartered on the University of Arkansas campus at Monticello, Arkansas, continues a tradition of research on plants, wildlife, and soils in pine-dominated forests of the southeastern United States. Our emphasis is on mixed loblolly-shortleaf pine and pine-hardwood forests of the West Gulf Coastal Plain in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, and the shortleaf pine and pine-hardwood forests of the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Unit scientists and staff are distributed among six subunit locations: three in Arkansas (Arkansas Forestry Sciences Lab locations in Hot Springs, Monticello, and Crossett), one in Louisiana affiliated with the Alexandria Forestry Center in Pineville, one in Alabama (Alabama A&M University at Normal), and one in Texas at the Wildlife Habitat and Silviculture Lab, located on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.

Our research is concentrated in 3 problem areas (click here for complete charter).

Ecology and Silviculture of Southern Pine-dominated Forests

Our goal is to discover and develop new knowledge about the ecology of southern pine-dominated forest ecosystems and to refine the silvicultural principles and practices for these ecosystems, so that land managers can make better management decisions and take more effective action to achieve desired results on public and private forest lands in the South.

Regional, Continental, and Global Effects on Southern Pine-dominated Forests

We seek to discover and evaluate the influence of regional, continental, and global forcing factors on pine-dominated forest ecosystems in the South, and to provide land owners and managers with the tools to manage healthy, diverse, and productive southern pine ecosystems that are resilient in response to these changes. Our scientists have special expertise in forest soils and soil science, and our research unit includes leadership and participation in long-term site productivity.

Effects of Forest Management, Insect Pests,
and Climate Change on Wildlife in Southern Pine-dominated Forests

The discovery, development, and integration of knowledge about the effects of forest management, insect pests, and climate change on wildlife and wildlife habitat in southern pine-dominated ecosystems will provide managers with better tools to restore and manage wildlife populations that are healthy, diverse, and sustainable.

Research Work Unit 4159 is responsible for research and demonstration studies, science delivery, and administration of three Experimental Forests in the Southern Research Station— Crossett and Alum Creek Experimental Forests in Arkansas and the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest in Texas.


2014 Crossett Forestry Field Day

Crossett Forestry Field Day

Held 16-17 May at the Crossett Experimental Forest near Crossett, Arkansas, the 2014 field day introduced area youth to the field of forestry and provided a full program for professional foresters and land owners on the broad range of ecosystem services provided by loblolly and shortleaf pine forests of natural origin.

More than 150 students from Lakeside, Drew Central, and Crossett high schools in Arkansas attended a half day of hands-on forestry brought to them by faculty and staff from the U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Forest Resources Center of the University of Arkansas (UA), UA-Monticello School of Forest Resources, UA Cooperative Extension, and the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

Students practiced measuring trees with diameter tapes, Biltmore sticks, and laser hypsometers, and learned about the processing and utilization of trees to produce both traditional wood products (via portable saw mill) and biofuels. Animal pelts, scat, and skulls aided the introduction to wildlife ecology and management. Students learned about the tools and operations of a wildland firefighting crew, including safety and communications equipment. A 120-foot-tall eddy flux tower brought home to the students the importance of monitoring carbon dioxide levels.

The Forester’s Workshop was more technically focused, and attendees could earn up to 4.0 CFE credits for the session. Presenters from the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station included Jim Guldin, Andy Scott, and Don Bragg.

A Landowner’s Workshop covering many of the same topics as the Forester’s Workshop (forest production, biomass and bioenergy, ecosystem services and management options, carbon contracts) was presented to landowners and other persons interested in the forests of southeastern Arkansas. The Landowner’s Workshop was geared toward helping non-professionals develop a better understanding of the multiple opportunities and options available for the management of their pine-dominated forests.

For more information, contact Don Bragg.

Additional links:
2014 Crossett Forestry Field Day
Kids enjoy learning at the Crossett