Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management RWU-4157

Picture of Upland Hardwoods

Our Mission

Our mission is to develop and disseminate knowledge and strategies for restoring, managing, sustaining, and enhancing the vegetation and wildlife of southern upland hardwood forests. Through experimental studies and modeling, our research program focuses on learning and predicting how upland hardwood-dominated forests and wildlife are affected by natural disturbances or silvicultural activities. We also study how forest composition, regeneration, productivity, and response to disturbances differ across changing environmental conditions such as moisture and fertility gradients.

Understanding the range of responses will enable land managers to better predict changes in forest structure, composition, tree regeneration, productivity, and habitat quality and to develop scientifically-based methods to meet their management and restoration goals.

Our Locations

Our RWU is one of 16 maintained under the Southern Research Station by the USDA Forest Service.

Our research teams are located across the south, strategically placed to conduct research in physiographic subregions of the upland hardwood ecosystems including the southern Appalachian Mountains, the Cumberland Plateau, the Boston Mountains, Missouri Plateau and Huntsville, AL.

Our Scientists and Staff

For a list of RWU 4157 scientists and staff, click here.

Our Partners

Our research partners and collaborators include universities and colleges, State forestry and wildlife agencies, national forests, and many others.

News & Events

Symposium on Natural Disturbances and Historic Range of Variation in Central Hardwood Forests

Symposium on Natural Disturbances and Historic Range of Variation in Central Hardwood Forests

Title: Natural Disturbances and Historic Range of Variation: Type, Frequency, and Post-disturbance Structure in Central Hardwood Forests

Date: April 3, 2014

Location: Spartanburg Marriott, Spartanburg, South Carolina

Registration Information: The symposium will be held at the annual meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists. Attendees must register for the meeting. Fees will be discounted for early registrants.

Expert speakers will address how a wide variety of natural disturbances, including wind, fire, ice, drought, insect pests, oak decline, floods, and landslides, can kill or damage trees across small to large areas in the upland hardwood forests of the Central Hardwoods Region, creating mosaics and gradients of structural conditions and canopy openness within stands and across the landscape.

“The symposium will provide a foundation for discussion of if, and how historic disturbance regimes can guide forest management on national forests and other public lands.” says Cathryn Greenberg, project leader of the SRS Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management unit, and co-organizer of the symposium, along with Beverly Collins of Western Carolina University.

New Book - Sustaining Young Forest Communities: Ecology and Management of Early Successional Habitats in the Central Hardwood Region, USA

Sustaining Young Forest Communities: Ecology and Management of Early Successional Habitats in the Central Hardwood Region, USA

There is a rising concern among natural resource scientists and managers about decline of the many plant and animal species associated with early successional habitats. There is no concise definition of early successional habitats. However, all have a well developed ground cover or shrub and young tree component, lack a closed, mature tree canopy, and are created or maintained by intense or recurring disturbances. Most ecologists and environmentalists agree that disturbances and early successional habitats are important to maintain the diverse flora and fauna native to deciduous eastern forests. Indeed, many species, including several listed as endangered, threatened, sensitive, or of management concern, require the openness and thick cover that early successional habitats can provide. Management of early successional habitats can be based on the "historic natural range of variation", or can involve active forest management based on goals. In this book, expert scientists and experienced land managers synthesize knowledge and original scientific work to address critical questions on many topics related to early successional habitats in the Central Hardwood Region. Our aim is to collate information about early successional habitats, to aid researchers and resource management professionals in their quest to sustain wildlife and plant species that depend on or utilize these habitats.

Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management

Upland Hardwood
Ecology and
Bent Creek Experimental
1577 Brevard Rd.
Asheville, NC 28806

(828) 667-5261 Ph
(828) 667-9097 Fax