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In 1989, South Carolina's Francis Marion National Forest lost close to a third of its pine and hardwood trees to Hurricane Hugo. Forest managers have spent the last 30 years recovering from that disturbance and working to meet the state's growing needs for clean water, forest products, recreation areas and wildlife habitat. To that end, they adopted a new forest plan in 2017 focused on restoring longleaf pine, the once-dominant southern species, across 33,000 acres of national forest lands.
Mangrove forests are among the most carbon-rich ecosystems on the planet. Their stilt-like roots trap carbon and other nutrients that rivers have carried to the coastal deltas where mangroves grow. They act as a buffer, protecting coastlines and the people who live there from increasingly strong seas and storm surges. People depend on mangrove forests as nurseries for fish and as sources of wood fuel and timber.
Coyotes arrived in the Southeast relatively recently. “Beginning in the early 20th century, coyotes started moving eastward,” says John Kilgo, a research biologist with the U.S. Forest Service. “But they weren’t recorded in South Carolina until the late 1970s.”
Wild animals are often immersed in a mortal struggle. For white-tailed deer fawns, the struggle entails hiding from predators like coyotes.
Whether small and shrubby or tall and majestic, mangroves have an unusual ability – they are specially adapted to grow in brackish water, and can tolerate ocean waves lapping at their stilt-like roots. As stands mature, soil and decaying plant matter becomes captured in the intricate web of their roots.
In the southeastern U.S., loblolly pine plantations cover about 37 million acres of land. “Growing switchgrass in loblolly pine plantations could provide a sustainable source of biomass for cellulosic energy,” says U.S. Forest Service research hydrologist Devendra Amatya.
Extreme Precipitation Event at Santee EF topic of Presentation
Extreme and prolonged flooding in many parts of South Carolina on Oct. 3 and 4 2015 was a result associated with Hurricane Joaquin that came into the eastern Atlantic Coast. The persistent deep easterly flow, the continuous supply of moisture, and the circulation of the hurricane caused this extreme weather event. Dr. Devendra Amatya, Research Hydrologist, has studied, written and presented on this event. He also presented at an invited session organized by the Southeastern Section of Geological Society of America in Columbia, SC. Preliminary Hydro-meteorologic Assessment of an Extreme Precipitation Event on Santee Experimental Forest Watersheds. He also presented his findings at the South Carolina Water Resources Conference also in Columbia, SC (Extreme Precipitation Event on Santee Experimental Forest Watersheds, SC).
Mangrove forests stabilize the tropical and subtropical coastlines of most of the world’s continents and provide valuable ecosystem services such as fish habitat and storm buffering. Unfortunately, mangroves are one of the world’s most threatened tropical forest ecosystems, with an estimated 35 percent of the forests already gone worldwide and others being cleared daily for tourist developments, harbors, shrimp aquaculture, rice farms, salt production and other purposes.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced funding for a proposal that involves the U.S. Forest Service, NASA, Duke University, and the University of Maryland in using field-based research as the basis for developing remote sensing tools to assess and monitor carbon pools in African mangrove forests. The project will use advanced 3-D remote sensing technology to map forest structure and extent as well as change over time.