The Mid-South Forests of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas

Like most regions of the U.S., the future of the Mid-South forests of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas is one of challenge. A report by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station outlines those challenges and presents options for managing forests over the next half century. The Southern Forest Futures Project (SFFP) started in 2008 as…  More 

Native Trees Naturally Fight Invasives in Some Eastern Forests

In this modern society, non-stop movement of people and goods means that invasive species will continue to move and spread, too. Recent research indicates that invasive plants can be found in nearly half of the forests of the eastern United States, raising concerns about the sustainability of these ecosystems and the benefits and services they…  More 

A Big-Picture View of the Invasive Plant Problem

Invasive plants are increasingly altering the structure and function of our natural environment, and now researchers have determined how far-reaching the problem has become. According to a study conducted by U.S. Forest Service and university scientists and published in the journal NeoBiota, at least one invasive species is present in 39 percent of forested plots sampled nationwide…  More 

Plant Invasions Across the United States: Patterns and Clues

Garlic mustard, Japanese stiltgrass, Oriental bittersweet, and other non-native invasive plants are creeping across backyards, parks, forests, and roadsides throughout the southeastern U.S. Scientists are still trying to understand what drives their relentless spread. Invasions are often assessed by measuring species richness, or the number of non-native species known to grow in a certain area.…  More 

Field Guide to Invasive Plants in Southern Forests

The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station publication A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests provides a comprehensive identification guide to nonnative trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, ferns and forbs currently invading forests and other natural areas of the southeastern United States. The information included in the guide is also available as an…  More 

Invasive Tallowtree Widespread in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Gulf Coast

Nonnative, invasive plant species pose a threat to forest resources throughout the South. Increasingly, nonnative plants infiltrate landscapes, eroding and replacing native plant communities. This can have irreversible and degrading effects on critical, human-sustaining ecosystems. Tallowtree (Triadica sebifera) is one of the most pervasive exotic tree species in the South and is known to replace entire stands…  More 

Mississippi Alluvial Valley Forests: The Next 50 Years

The Southern Forest Futures Project (SFFP) started in 2008 as an effort to study and understand the various forces reshaping the forests across the 13 states of the Southeast. Chartered by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region and Southern Research Station (SRS) along with the Southern Group of State Foresters, the project examined a variety…  More 

Controlling Cogongrass

Has cogongrass invaded your land? The first step—and the easiest—is identification. Cogongrass has some features that make it fairly easy to identify. Compared to the deep green hues of other grasses typically found in the South, the leaves of cogongrass appear yellowish green, and the white upper midrib of the leaves tends to be slightly…  More 

Good News for Eradicating Cogongrass in the South

Over the past decade, U.S. Forest Service researchers have been working with university cooperators to find some way to slow down or stop the relentless spread of cogongrass. This last fall, Auburn University researchers reported results that demonstrate, for the first time, that patches of cogongrass can be eliminated completely within three years — showing…  More 

The Role of Humans in U.S. Plant Invasions

Plant breeders have produced hybrids for centuries, maybe even millennia, crossing genetically different varieties or species to accentuate desired traits. Plants continuously hybridize on their own, either within populations of their own species or across species, families, and even genera. As exotic introduced plants began aggressively spreading into areas where they weren’t wanted, plant biologists…  More