Shortleaf Pine Plantings from 1980s Can Guide Restoration

About forty years ago, 155 plots of shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) were planted in national forests across the USDA Forest Service Southern Region. The original purpose was progeny testing, but as decades passed, the study was largely abandoned. However, many of the stands remained and kept growing. In 2018, researchers evaluated 15 of the surviving…  More 

When Detecting Bats, Methods Matter

If you want to record bat calls in summer, go early. Detectors recorded significantly more high-quality call files during late June and early July than August. USDA Forest Service research ecologist Susan Loeb and colleagues published results from a bat detection survey in Acta Chiropterologica. The likely reason bats had very high recorded activity in…  More 

Electrofishing for Crayfish

Since its origin, more than 40,000 years ago, fishing has taken a variety of forms — from spearing to hook-and-line fishing. In the 1960s, scientists began using a method called “electrofishing” to study aquatic populations. In a study published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, USDA Forest Service scientist Zanethia Barnett researched the…  More 

Seed Size & Predation

Among their many benefits, prescribed fires can protect southeastern pine woodlands from encroachment – the process of fire-sensitive species expanding into fire-maintained woodlands. Because fire is important for longleaf pine regeneration, forest researchers have studied the effects of flammability on the pine woodlands. In a recent study published in in Applied Vegetation Science, USDA Forest…  More 

Research Sustains Ecosystem Services

From clean drinking water to sustainably harvested forest products and the region’s outdoor tourism industry, nature provides abundant benefits to people in the southern Appalachians. Benefits also include biodiversity, the sense of place found in forested landscapes, and much more. Ecological assessment is a key tool for understanding the role of private and public lands…  More 

Webinar Series on Forests & Food Across the Globe

A new webinar series explores the value of the food and medicine forests provide. “Many Americans eat berries, nuts, and edible mushrooms from forests,” says Jim Chamberlain, USDA Forest Service researcher. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pounds of food are gathered from public lands. Chamberlain is organizing the webinar series as part of his…  More 

New Series of Science Updates on NTFPs From Trees

Trees provide food, medicine, and other things that people need. USDA Forest Service researcher Jim Chamberlain developed factsheets for eight species: Eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra) Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) Noble fir (Abies procera) Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) Pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) These trees provide fruit…  More 

History of Forest Research in the South, 1921-1933

For 40 years, Philip Wakeley researched southern pines for the USDA Forest Service. Wakeley was one of the first Forest Service R&D employees in the South. He began his career in 1924, at the Southern Forest Experiment Station in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Station was established in 1921, and in the 1990s would merge with…  More 

A History of Naval Stores, a Forgotten Forest Industry

Before the advent of modern boats, wooden ships made up the navies of our world. Naval stores – pitch, tar, turpentine, and rosin – were used to caulk seams, preserve ropes, and maintain the seaworthiness of wooden ships. Naval stores also found many other uses prior to the modern petrochemical era. USDA Forest Service emeritus…  More 

Summing Up NABat Successes

The North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) was designed to meet local needs, and it must do that if locals are expected to continue participating. NABat launched in 2015 as a collaborative, long-term program to assess the status and trends of North American bats at local, regional, and range-wide scales. NABat developed out of a…  More