Cogongrass Invades the South

It grows on every continent except Antarctica and has earned a reputation as one of the worst weeds on earth. Now, according to U.S. Forest Service emeritus scientist Jim Miller, cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is one of the most threatening invasive species in the South. Native to Southeast Asia, cogongrass was accidentally introduced in the United…  More 

Why is Cogongrass So Successful at Invading the South?

In the South, many of our forests are crowded with invasive plants—English ivy, privet, oriental bittersweet and kudzu—to name just a few. These plants can often edge out the natives, reducing the diversity of understories and altering forests. Understanding how these plants arrived in the southeastern United States and adapted to thrive in local conditions…  More 

Appalachian-Cumberland Highlands: The Next 50 Years

Knowing more about how the future might unfold can improve decisions that have long-term consequences. The Southern Forest Futures Project, a multi-agency effort led by the U.S. Forest Service, aims to forecast and interpret changes in southern forests under multiple scenarios over the next several decades. The first of five sub-regional reports to explore these…  More 

Managing Southern Forests under Climate Change

U.S. Forest Service scientists recently published a new comprehensive guide to help natural resource managers in the South develop options for managing southern forest ecosystems in the face of climate change.  Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Management Options: A Guide for Natural Resource Managers in Southern Forest Ecosystems culminates a multi-year initiative by Forest Service Southern…  More 

Ramped Up Risk for Frogs When Chinese Tallow Interacts with Climate Change

The timing of mating and egg-laying in many amphibians is directly related to temperature. Due to climate change, spring warming comes sooner in many areas, and a new study led by U.S. Forest Service researcher Daniel Saenz suggests that the changed timing of breeding could cause native amphibians such as the southern leopard frog and…  More 

NSF Grant Funds New Understanding of Plant Invasions at Larger Scales

Purdue University and U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) researchers recently received over $700,000 from the National Science Foundation to explore regional and continental patterns of non-native plant invasions. Chris Oswalt, research forester with the SRS Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) unit, and Qinfeng Guo, ecologist with the Eastern Forest Threat Assessment Center, serve…  More 

Reflections on the Southern Forest Futures Project

In 2008, we started the Southern Forest Futures Project with 15 public workshops held in each of the 13 States of our region. In Baton Rouge, Asheville, Stillwater, Charleston, and all the other locations, we discussed and compiled the concerns of more than 700 resource professionals and other interested  citizens regarding the great and vast…  More 

International Researchers Mobilize Against Risky Stowaway Pests

Sometimes there is more to global trade than meets the eye. While consumers and economies may benefit from expanding market opportunities and a seemingly endless array of readily available goods, harmful pests could be lurking as people and products are transported between countries. An international research network, including scientists from the U.S. Forest Service, recently met to…  More 

ForWarn Researchers Get EVEREST-Sized Look at Woodland Disturbances

An exploratory visualization facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has provided researchers with the Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center and their partners a unique view of maps used for detecting and tracking unexpected forest change and disturbances. The researchers are part of a large team that developed the first near-real-time forest threat…  More 

Key Findings from the U.S. Forest Service National Climate Assessment

U.S. Forest Service Research and Development recently published a comprehensive synthesis of the effects of climate change on U.S. Forests . Led and edited by Forest Service scientists Jim Vose (Southern Research Station), Dave Peterson (Pacific Northwest Research Station), and Toral Patel-Weynand (Forest Service Research & Development), the report includes chapters written by experts from…  More