Our Mission

  • To provide information, methods, and guidelines to implement and evaluate ecosystem management concepts, practices, and effects on water, soil and forest resources.
  • To improve knowledge, baseline data, and predictive methods that are required to evaluate effects of the atmospheric environment on forested watersheds in the southeastern U.S.

News & Events

Open or Shut: How Trees Respond to Drought at the Leaf Level

Trees pull water into their roots, where some of it moves up the trunk against the pull of gravity. This upward movement, which is described by the cohesion-tension theory, is possible because of the chemical nature of water. Water molecules are attracted to each other (cohesion), so just before a water molecule evaporates from the leaf’s surface, it pulls (tension) another to the surface, and so on.

Mystery Crayfish Highlights Conservation Challenges

On a recent sampling trip to the Bankhead National Forest in northwest Alabama a team led by U.S. Forest Service scientist Susie Adams scooped up a crayfish from a river flowing into the Lewis Smith Reservoir. The crayfish had a distinctive black, orange, and white color pattern on the tips of its largest claws, which quickly caught the team’s attention because it didn’t look like any crayfish known to live in the streams and rivers where they were working.

Chemical Clues to a Forest’s Past in Nitrogen Isotope Ratios

From the depths of the soil to the top of the atmosphere, nitrogen is everywhere. It is also indispensable to plants and animals. The vast majority of nitrogen atoms contain the same number of uncharged particles. However, a few atoms are ‘stable’ isotopes that have one extra uncharged particle. Although the extra particle adds a miniscule amount of weight – much less than one trillionth of an ounce – living things prefer compounds that contain the lighter nitrogen atom to the heavier isotope.