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 

Barnett receives Society for Freshwater Science award

USDA Forest Service fisheries biologist Zanethia Barnett is the winner of the 2022 Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) Hynes Award for New Investigators. The Hynes Award goes to a senior author of an outstanding primary publication within the last three years. Barnett won the award for a 2020 publication in Freshwater Biology that was the…  More 

Earthworm diversity linked to latitude and isolation

Earthworms don’t get enough attention, according to USDA Forest Service research ecologist Mac Callaham. “Earthworms have profound influences on soil habitat and other soil animals,” says Callaham. “They’re called ecosystem engineers. Their behavior and influence can help us understand how the systems are functioning and how we can best manage natural resources.” But until we…  More 

Prescribed fire history affects pollinator diversity in southern forests

Landscapes with diverse fire histories – or pyrodiverse landscapes – have higher diversity of pollinators, as a recent study by USDA Forest Service scientist Michael Ulyshen shows. The study was published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Tall Timbers Research Station, the study location, is nestled in the Red Hills Ecoregion of the Coastal…  More 

Appalachian stream fish diversity: The more the merrier!

The relationship between diversity and productivity in ecosystems has fascinated scientists for decades but is not well understood in freshwater fish communities. USDA Forest Service scientist Andrew Dolloff co-authored a study that found a positive relationship between fish production and fish biodiversity. Fish production is an expansive metric. It represents the number of individuals, their…  More 

Conserving trees for endangered bats

Tricolored bats (Perimyotis subflavus) in South Carolina are threatened by habitat loss and white-nose syndrome. New research shows where they roost during winter, and where they and northern yellow bats (Lasiurus intermedius) roost in summer. Northern yellow bats are considered a species a special concern in South Carolina. USDA Forest Service scientist Susan Loeb contributed…  More 

Bat foraging in winter vs summer

Unlike bats in cold northern regions, bats in the South can be active year-round. However, most studies of bat habitat use have been conducted during the summer, Little is known about winter bat habitat. In summer and winter 2018 and 2019, USDA Forest Service scientist Susan Loeb, Clemson University graduate student Kyle Shute, and his…  More 

Trapping hogs one sounder at a time

Wild pigs are the largest invasive species in the U.S., and cost billions of dollars in damage to ecosystems and farms each year. New insights from the Savannah River Site are leading to better ways of managing them: whole sounder trapping, baiting strategies, and timing trapping efforts so that pigs are absent during critical portions…  More 

Burrowing crayfish prefer burning to boiling

Crayfish burrow amongst the prairie roots But are they affected by the woody shoots? Turns out as the woody stems get tall The number of crayfish burrow openings begins to fall. We know many species benefit from fire, but burrowing crayfish? USDA Forest Service scientist Susan Adams led a study that found the number of…  More 

Top ten of 2021

We hope you enjoy this collection of the most popular CompassLive stories of 2021. 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.   ______________________ One acorn, two acorns, three acorns, four… How to evaluate acorn crops  Every year, state wildlife…  More