Workshop on Southern Experimental Forest Network

More than 20 representatives from SRS Experimental Forests (EF), Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA), SRS leadership, and partner sites met on April 30 in Little Rock, Arkansas. “Their primary objective was to build on previous efforts, such as the field tours, and develop an implementation framework and plan for the network,” says Stephanie Laseter, EF…  More 

Forests Supply Water to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s forests are still recovering from Hurricane Maria. Local scientists estimate that one out of five trees in the El Yunque National Forest were lost during or after the storm. Widespread forest restoration and monitoring efforts are underway. But that work isn’t focused on just the trees in those forests — water supply is an important ecosystem…  More 

Coweeta Technicians Travel to Puerto Rico

Electric blue squares dotted the urban landscape. From the descending plane, USDA Forest Service visitors thought they might be swimming pools. Alas, they were tarps covering the roofs of homes and keeping leaks at bay on rainy days. These tarps were the first sign of lingering damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Broken roads, twisted…  More 

Reptiles and Amphibians Unharmed by Prescribed Fires in Early Growing Season

Amphibians and reptiles tend to be most active during the spring and summer, when it’s warmer. A recent USDA Forest Service study compared how herpetofauna respond to prescribed fires conducted during the growing season – when vegetation is actively growing – versus those in dormant season months. “Historically, prescribed burning has been limited to the…  More 

Louisiana’s First Lady of Forestry

Caroline C. “Carrie” Dormon was shaped by her family’s influence and interest in nature. Today she is recognized as a woman who excelled in a male dominated world – as well as a pioneer conservationist, forester, botanist, illustrator, and native plant enthusiast. USDA Forest Service emeritus scientist James Barnett, along with Sarah Troncale, science teacher…  More 

The Cold Hill Silvicultural Assessment

Upland hardwood forests mature slowly – it can take as long as a century. It can also take years to answer research questions about these forests, which are often dominated by oaks and hickories. In 2003, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), Northern Research Station, and Southern Region (Region 8) of the National…  More 

Invasive Earthworms in the Food Web

Imagine walking through a forest, with leaves crunching beneath your feet. Underneath those crunchy leaves is a complex ecological realm. “Soil is teeming with life,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Mac Callaham. “Most people don’t think about it because they don’t see the soil fauna.” Soil fauna includes centipedes, millipedes, springtails, nematodes, insect larvae,…  More 

Harvest Disturbance Recovery in Wet Pine Flats

Just after Hurricane Hugo roared over the Atlantic coastal plain in 1989, U.S. Forest Service research soil scientist Bill McKee (now retired) visited Francis Marion National Forest in South Carolina. Some of its wet pine flats were so badly damaged that they looked like they had been clearcut. McKee was joined by Michael Aust and…  More 

Highlights from the Joint Leadership Team Meeting

On August 30, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Regional Leadership Team met with the Southern Research Station Leadership Team in Asheville, NC. Ken Arney, deputy regional forester, kicked off the day with a recap of the last joint meeting held in 2015. Several priority topics from that forum are still of great importance: longleaf pine…  More 

Reforesting a Stumpscape

By 1930, the golden age of lumbering was over. “In about 25 years, millions of acres of old-growth forests had been harvested,” says U.S. Forest Service emeritus scientist James Barnett. “Land once covered with majestic stands of longleaf pines had become vast ‘stumpscapes.’” Cutover forests were bare, with little prospect of regeneration. Forests had been…  More