Coastal Plain Fish Diversity and Introduced Small Wood

Coastal plain streams don’t always have swirling eddies or meandering bends. “They can look more like drainage ditches than natural streams,” says USDA Forest Service technician Ken Sterling. Agriculture, flood abatement, and residential development have all contributed to stream straightening in this region. The result? Streams incise and downcut, like a canyon. “These streams are…  More 

Vernal Crayfish Life History and Habitat Use

What to call a freshwater crustacean that resembles a small lobster? USDA Forest Service scientist Zanethia Barnett has a clever answer: “I study crayfish, but I eat crawfish.” More than half of the nation’s 357 species of crayfish — also known as crawdads, mudbugs, or yabbies — can be found in the Southeast. Crayfish break…  More 

Bottomland Hardwood Restoration – What Happens Belowground?

If something looks like a forest, does it act like a forest? U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Mac Callaham, along with several colleagues, asked that question about bottomland hardwoods in west-central Mississippi. “Back in the late 1960s, there was a soybean boom, and a lot of bottomland forests were cleared for farming,” says Callaham. However,…  More 

Pondberry Seeks Sunlight

Pondberry is rare and endangered, but don’t underestimate the species. “Pondberry tolerates flooded soil,” says U.S. Forest Service research forester Brian Roy Lockhart. “It also tolerates living in heavy shade. It has a plasticity to light that gives managers a lot of options for improving its growth and vigor.” Pondberry occurs in several southeastern states,…  More 

Bats Adapt to Disturbed Habitat

Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii) is considered a rare and sensitive species. The bats are small, with a body length of three to four inches, ears just over one inch, a wingspan just shy of a foot, and they weigh around half an ounce — less than a slice of bread. Though their range includes much of…  More 

Bottomland Hardwoods of the Mid-Atlantic

A new U.S. Forest Service report characterizes the status and trends of bottomland hardwood forests across the mid-Atlantic region of North Carolina and Virginia. These forests are located in floodplains, bogs, swamps, and other lowland areas. SRS scientists Anita Rose and Steve Meadows summarized Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data from 2002 to 2014 for…  More 

Mississippi Alluvial Valley Forests

The Southern Forest Futures Project (SFFP) started as an effort to study and understand the various forces reshaping the forests across the 13 states of the Southeast. Chartered by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region and Southern Research Station (SRS) along with the Southern Group of State Foresters, the project examined a variety of possible…  More 

Historic Camp Claiborne

Remembering the Sacrifice, a hardback book published by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), richly illustrates the legacy of Camp Claiborne, a military site established on the Kisatchie National Forest (Kisatchie) during World War II. SRS emeritus scientist Jim Barnett wrote the book with co-authors Kisatchie deputy district ranger Douglas Rhodes and district…  More 

How Sustainable are Eucalyptus Plantations?

Eucalypts – woody plants originally found in Australia — have been identified as one of the best feedstocks for bioenergy production due to their fast-growth rate and coppicing ability, but there are concerns about adverse environmental effects, some related to water consumption, and their water use efficiency is still poorly understood. U.S. Forest Service research…  More 

The Tallahatchie Experimental Forest

  The Tallahatchie Experimental Forest (Tallahatchie), located in the Holly Springs National Forest near Oxford, Mississippi, was created in 1950. Much of the experimental forest lies within the floodplain of the Little Tallahatchie River; upland parts of the forest include the headwaters of two watersheds, one draining into the Little Tallahatchie River, the other into…  More