Eucalyptus in the South

Because it grows rapidly and can develop high wood density, there’s increasing interest in the South for growing Eucalyptus commercially as a bioenergy feedstock. For the South, this means finding and testing Eucalyptus species that will grow in temperate areas as well as genetically modified hybrids bred to be frost tolerant. Growing well under a…  More 

The Science Behind Wildfire Prevention

According to the U.S. Forest Service National Climate Assessment now being finalized, by 2050 the area burned each year by severe wildfires will rise to 20 million acres nationwide, at least double of what it is now. Because many of those future fires are likely to burn under severe fire conditions, preventing people from starting…  More 

From the Hexacopter: A Bird’s Eye View on Fire

What would you find out if you could hover a hundred feet above a prescribed fire? As you might have noticed, smoke from burning trees rises quickly, especially if there’s wind. Getting measurements of smoke once it gets above the canopy is very difficult, and up to now, very expensive. Scientists from the U.S. Forest…  More 

There’s Nothing Simple about the Urban-Rural Interface

A new book edited by U.S. Forest Service researcher Wayne Zipperer, with co-editors David Laband and Graeme Lockaby, focuses on urban-rural interfaces—those places where city and suburban development touch on the countryside. Published by the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America, the articles in…  More 

New Books on Forest Landscape Restoration

Two new books link natural and social sciences U.S. Forest Service scientists made significant contributions to two related books recently published by Springer:  Forest Landscape Restoration: Integrating Natural and Social Sciences and A Goal-Oriented Approach to Forest landscape Restoration. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientist John Stanturf served as lead editor on both books,…  More 

Rabbit Rules for Prescribed Burns

Forest Service scientists with the Southern Research Station (SRS) Center for Forest Disturbance Science  (CFDS) recently tested Rabbit Rules, a simplified model they developed that can be used to quickly calculate fire and smoke behavior from prescribed burns. The impacts of smoke on air quality are particularly important in the South, where managers use prescribed…  More 

More Fuel for Fire?

Fire has been a fact of life for millennia in the South, shaping the range and ecology of pine, certain oak, and palm forests. But along with shrinking polar ice and rising sea levels, there’s general agreement among climate scientists that climate change will probably increase both the intensity and frequency of fire in the southern…  More 

Prescribed Fire in the Piney Woods

Effects on amphibians and reptiles Forest managers across North America use prescribed burning for many reasons—restoring ecosystem functions, improving wildlife habitat, reducing wildlife hazard, to name a few. Prescribed fire can have both beneficial and negative effects on specific plants and animals. Managers are increasingly sensitive to possible effects of fire on amphibians and reptiles…  More 

Acorns and Prescribed Fire

Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists have found that litter and soil can provide the insulation needed to protect acorns when prescribed fire is used to help restore oak ecosystems. “Acorns inside the leaf litter or in the soil are for the most part protected from fire,” says Katie Greenberg, SRS researcher and lead author of…  More 

Southern Pine Beetle Impacts on Forests

Shortleaf pine-hardwood ecosystem restoration following insect outbreak Research by Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists shows that the impacts of recent outbreaks of southern pine beetle further degraded shortleaf pine-hardwood forest ecosystems in the southern Appalachian region. The authors suggest that cutting and burning these sites reduces heavy fuel loads, improves soil nutrient status, and opens…  More