Creating Young Forests to Benefit Wildlife

There’s a tendency to think of the hardwood forests of the South as pristine, undisturbed, and unchanging. But forests are constantly changing, which is a good thing for disturbance-dependent species that require open structural conditions created immediately after forest disturbances or at some point early in the process of recovery. Historically and still today, windstorms,…  More 

Where the Not-So-Mighty Chestnut Still Grows

A recent study by U.S. Forest Service, university, and state agency researchers provides baseline information on contemporary populations of American chestnut needed to support restoration of the tree to the forests it once dominated. Biologist Harmony Dalgleish from the College of William and Mary served as lead author on the research published in the journal…  More 

Teaching Cherokee Indian Youth about Culturally Important Plants

The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) recently partnered to develop learning modules for children attending EBCI’s Snowbird Youth Center in Robbinsville, North Carolina. The youth center is part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cherokee. The plant module is the first learning module developed, and…  More 

Chemical Clues to a Forest’s Past in Nitrogen Isotope Ratios

From the depths of the soil to the top of the atmosphere, nitrogen is everywhere. It is also indispensable to plants and animals. The vast majority of nitrogen atoms contain the same number of uncharged particles. However, a few atoms are ‘stable’ isotopes that have one extra uncharged particle. Although the extra particle adds a miniscule…  More 

Managing for Natural Disturbances in Central Hardwood Forests

A new book edited by U.S. Forest Service researcher Katie Greenberg and Western Carolina University professor Beverly Collins offers detailed science-based information about the history of natural disturbances in the Central Hardwood Region of the U.S., and provides insight for managers and ecologists on managing the area’s forests. Published by Springer, Natural Disturbances and Historic Range of…  More 

Susan Loeb Awarded Grant for Research Related to White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

On September 29, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced $2.5 million in grants for research, management, and communication projects related to white-nose syndrome, the fungal disease that’s killed millions of North American bats since 2007, when it was first documented. White-nose syndrome is caused by a cold-loving fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), that infects hibernating…  More 

Drought, Insects, and Oak Decline

Recent research by university and U.S. Forest Service scientists suggests that the traditional sequence of events and factors involved in forest decline may be changing in relation to climate conditions. To look more closely at patterns of decline linked to drought and insect attacks, the researchers analyzed the unprecedented oak death event that took place…  More 

Oct. 20 – 22, Fire History in the Appalachians Workshop

Register now: “Fire History in the Appalachians Workshop and Central Appalachians FLN Workshop” Fire has shaped the ecosystems of the Appalachian Mountains for millennia, and an area’s fire history can guide land managers who use prescribed fire for ecosystem restoration or reducing hazardous fuels. On October 20-22, the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists…  More 

American Chestnut, Past and Future

The Silvics of American Chestnut , a general technical report (GTR) available from the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), describes the habitat, life history, special uses, genetics, and restoration of the American chestnut (Castanea dentata). The publication is the result of collaboration between G. Geoff Wang, the lead author, his colleagues at Clemson University, and…  More 

Shifting Rainfall Patterns May Change Southern Appalachian Forest Structure

A new research study by U.S. Forest Service scientists finds that changes in rainfall patterns in the southern Appalachians due to climate change could reduce growth in six hardwood tree species common to the region. The findings have implications for forest managers in the Southeast, where climate variability (more extreme events or changes in precipitation…  More