The Southern Pine Ecology and Management Research Work Unit (SRS-RWU-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 three problem areas:
- 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 – the Crossett and Alum Creek Experimental Forests in Arkansas and the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest in Texas.