In a Paradox, Good News for City Frogs

In a world rapidly losing its species diversity, amphibians have the highest rate of extinction among vertebrates. Although the usual culprits of habitat loss and human incursion play a major role, a fungus called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) that causes an often fatal skin disease in amphibians has played a major role in the decline or extinction of about…  More 

SRS Funds Graduate Student’s Pollinator Study

Through its Partnership Enhancement Initiative, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) provides funding to students – especially minority students – and professors interested in studying natural resource issues. One of the recent grant recipients was Hampton University, a historically black university in Virginia. “The grant funded Michael Mitchell – a Master of Science…  More 

Research Communication–and Brevity–Earn Prize for Eastern Threat Center Scientist

“How good is the research if we can’t communicate it?” says Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center biological scientist Serra Hoagland after taking top honors at Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) 3 Minute Research Presentation Project contest. The inaugural event at NAU, where Hoagland is pursuing a PhD in forest science, challenges graduate students to explain…  More 

Lampreys, Paddlefishes, and Mooneyes, to Name a Few

Johns Hopkins University Press recently published the first volume of a long-awaited reference work on North American freshwater fishes edited by U.S. Forest Service fisheries research scientist Mel Warren and Southern Illinois University professor Brooks Burr. Freshwater Fishes of North America, Volume 1 provides comprehensive details on 10 North American fish families: Lampreys, Whiptail Stingrays,…  More 

Restoring the Forest Before Gypsy Moths Invade

Keeping forests healthy is better than trying to restore them after droughts or insect outbreaks have already killed trees, but identifying future threats is sometimes a challenge. Not so in the Daniel Boone National Forest in the Cumberland Plateau area of Kentucky. Oaks dominate the area, but they are under stress and susceptible to decline, while invasive…  More 

Bold Moves Needed to Save North America’s Freshwater Mussels

North America’s freshwater mussels are in grave danger of disappearing. Though there’s been progress in learning about freshwater mussel biology and effective techniques developed to propagate mussel species, conservation efforts should focus more directly on bold and aggressive habitat restoration, according to a recently published review paper by U.S. Forest Service researcher Wendell Haag. In…  More 

Bringing Fire Back to the Kisatchie Sandstone Hills

The hillside bogs, sandstone glades, and woodlands of the Kisatchie Sandstone Hills in Louisiana are potential homes to a number of rare and endangered animals such as the red-cockaded woodpecker and the Louisiana pine snake. However, in much of the Kisatchie Hills, the open woodlands these animals need have vanished amid a dense midstory of…  More 

Young Forests Can Benefit Wildlife

It’s easy to think of forests as peaceful, unchanging places. In reality, this isn’t the case, because forests are much more dynamic than they may seem. In fact, forests are shaped by change, and many forest ecosystems depend upon it. In the aftermath of a major change or disturbance like wildfire or human clearing of…  More 

The Next Fifty Years of Acorn Production

Some acorns go on to become the next generation of oak trees, but others are eaten by birds, bears, rodents, and deer. Rodents are in turn eaten by carnivores, and deer browsing affects which kinds of plants become established and survive. “Acorns have a far-reaching influence on wildlife species and forest ecology,” says U.S. Forest…  More 

SRS Hosts 10th International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology, June 22-27

This week, from June 22 to 27, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station Center for Forest Disturbance Science (CFDS) is hosting the 10th International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology (ISEE) in Athens, Georgia. This is only the second time the symposium, which is held every four years, has met in the United States. More than…  More