Top Ten of 2022  

  We hope you enjoy this collection of the most popular CompassLive stories of 2022. Each article highlights the people, partnerships, and natural wonders of the South. For the past century, USDA Forest Service research has contributed to healthier, more sustainable southern forests.   _______________________________ New book on fire ecology and management across the U.S.  A…  More 

Your home stores carbon for decades

Wood is infinitely useful. Look around, and you’ll find it in all sorts of places, from cardboard boxes to pianos. It is even used in some frames for bikes and cars. If you live in the U.S., wood was also likely used to build your home. All these wood-based items are valuable to people in…  More 

Wildfires on a warmer planet

Wildfires are projected to burn three times as much area on federal lands by the end of the century, as compared to previous decades. Furthermore, across all climate scenarios, median federal spending for wildfire suppression is projected nearly triple, translating into a $3.70 billion increase compared to historic spending over the same time frame. The…  More 

Air, wind, and fire

Imagine water flowing smoothly down a river. When it hits a rock, the flow of the water moves and bends, creating turbulence. Air moves in a similar fashion as it flows through a forest and encounters objects and other movement in its path — but we can’t see it. Unless something is present to help…  More 

The fate of wood

Trees are part of the carbon cycle. When they die, they go on storing carbon for a while. But as the fallen trunks and large branches decompose, that carbon moves into the soil and the atmosphere. USDA Forest Service researcher Carl Trettin and his colleagues have designed a new study to show how wood-carbon moves…  More 

Chinese tallow leaf litter negatively affects frogs

“Where I grew up in the Houston area, Chinese tallow was the main tree in forests near my house. They were a beautiful crimson color in the fall and great for climbing,” says USDA Forest Service researcher Daniel Saenz. “But most importantly, they were the best source of ammunition. Tallow fruits were the perfect size…  More 

Climate change worsens heatwaves

Since the 1980s, climate change has increased the impact of heatwaves. They arrive earlier, last longer, have higher temperatures, and cover wider areas. Their effects across the globe, however, vary by location and income level. USDA Forest Service scientist Jeffrey Prestemon contributed to a study, led by Mohammad Reza Alizadeh at McGill University, that shows…  More 

Fighting future fires

Climate change threatens communities around the world with the promise of more floods, drought, extreme heat, hurricanes – and wildfire. As these events increase in frequency, they will add new pressures to the federal budget. The USDA Forest Service has already taken proactive steps to mitigate some of these impacts. The agency recently established a…  More 

Forests to Faucets 2.0

Standing on the banks of the Yadkin River in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the river tumbles peacefully by. The river water has made a long journey: it originated as rainfall deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It flows through the Uwharrie, Sumter, and Francis Marion National Forests. It travels through Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Charleston…  More 

Breaking it down with insects: Deadwood decomposition across the globe

Across the globe, insects can decompose almost 30% of all fallen tree branches, trunks, and other deadwood. The findings have important implications for the global carbon cycle. USDA Forest Service scientists Michael Ulyshen and Grizelle Gonzalez, were part of an international research team that investigated the role of insects in decomposing deadwood in ecosystems across…  More