Dry Tropical Forests in the Caribbean and Latin America under Threat

The climate and fertile soils of the dry tropical forests of Latin America and the Caribbean have been important to humans as areas to grow crops since pre-Columbian times. Because of this and more recent use for intensive cultivation and cattle grazing, many of these forests have been cleared, with less than 10 percent of…  More 

Story Maps: A New Approach to Communicating about Forests

The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) unit is increasing the interactivity and reach of forest science by using FIA and other data to create story maps on topics that range from southern forest products to white-nose syndrome. Developed on Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform, story maps are stand-alone web-based…  More 

Annual Report Keeps a Finger on the Pulse of U.S. Forest Health

Everyone can understand the importance of a yearly checkup for monitoring one’s general health and wellbeing. Regular “checkups” are also necessary to gauge the overall health and monitoring needs of U.S. forests, so managers, scientists, and decision makers look to the U.S. Forest Service’s annual Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) national report to gain insights into…  More 

Cogongrass Continues to Invade the South

It grows on every continent except Antarctica and has earned a reputation as one of the worst weeds on earth — and according to U.S. Forest Service emeritus scientist Jim Miller, cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is without doubt one of the most threatening invasive species in the South. In addition to cogongrass, it goes by  other…  More 

FIA Data Informs the Fight Against Insect Invasion

More than 50,000 non-native plants, insects, and animals have been introduced to the U.S. Scientists estimate that 4,500 of them are arthropods. “Insect invasions are enabled by humans’ ever-expanding trade and travel networks,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist James Vogt. “Across the globe, invasive species are crossing borders at alarming rates.” In some states such…  More 

It’s Ramp Festival Time in the Southern Appalachians

In the Appalachian Mountains, spring really starts with ramps and ramp festivals. Also known as wild leeks, ramps (Allium tricoccum) have been described as having a flavor that falls somewhere between that of garlic, onions, and scallions. While the taste is sweet, the pungent smell of ramps — and of those who’ve eaten them —…  More 

U.S. Forest Service Scientist Helps Establish First Mangrove Experimental Forest in Africa

Mangrove forests stabilize the tropical and subtropical coastlines of most of the world’s continents and provide valuable ecosystem services such as fish habitat and storm buffering. Unfortunately, mangroves are one of the world’s most threatened tropical forest ecosystems, with an estimated 35 percent of the forests already gone worldwide and others being cleared daily for…  More 

Austin’s Urban Forest

In late February, the U.S. Forest Service published its first urban forest assessment for Austin, Texas. Using Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data, Austin’s Urban Forest 2014 provides details on the composition and health of the city’s urban forest and the benefits it provides. According to the report, Austin’s trees provide almost $34…  More 

Coldwater Fish in Warming Streams

Scientists and managers are concerned about the future of trout in the southern Appalachian Mountains, but what about anglers? Over 100,000 people enjoy trout fishing in north Georgia. U.S. Forest Service scientist J. Michael Bowker recently coauthored a study about how trout anglers perceive climate change risks to trout. The study was led by Ramesh…  More 

New Interactive Guide Tells the Story of Forest Products in the South

A new storymap developed by U.S. Forest Service researchers allows users to interactively chart the ebb and flow of forest products across the southern states — and visually tells the story of the decline of the forest products industry over the last decades. Using Forest Service Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data loaded onto Esri’s (Environmental…  More