Future Increases in Biomass Demand Could Affect Wood Economy

Wood is used for an abundance of everyday items — furniture, buildings, paper — so much so that it would be difficult to find a space completely without wood-based products. However, a competing use is emerging: many studies predict that more wood will be used for bioenergy in the future, which could affect that industry…  More 

Eucalyptus Freezes in the Piedmont

When a cold snap killed the Eucalyptus benthamii saplings, no one was surprised. E. benthamii is one of the most cold-tolerant of approximately 700 Eucalypts. Still, it is maladapted to the North Carolina Piedmont, according to a recent USDA Forest Service study published in Forest Science. “Winters are becoming milder,” says John Butnor, an SRS…  More 

Where to Grow Woody Bioenergy Crops?

Demand for bioenergy is expected to grow – as much as 10 times larger than present. Woody crops such as poplar or loblolly pine have the potential to fuel this growth. But where should such crops be planted? How to minimize transportation costs? Where are the opportunity zones? Where are the risks? USDA Forest Service…  More 

Harvesting Southern Pines for Bioenergy: Potential Impacts on Soil

Soils are the foundation of the forested ecosystem, producing timber and clean water while supporting biodiversity and storing carbon. A new study led by U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientist D. Andrew Scott examines how harvesting for bioenergy affects soil ecosystem services in loblolly pine plantations. Many southern pine stands are being harvested…  More 

International Student Visitor Arrives in Auburn for Forest Service Internship

Wellington Cardoso, an undergraduate student from Brazil, arrived in Auburn, Alabama, this past January to begin an internship with the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station. “Cardoso will play a major role in studying a biomass harvesting operation,” says Dana Mitchell, project leader of the Forest Operations research unit, which is hosting Cardoso. The operation…  More 

Biomass Energy from Southern Forests

The Southern Forest Futures Project Technical Report is now available online, both entire and by chapter. The report provides an interdisciplinary assessment of potential futures of southern forests and the many benefits they provide. The Southern Forest Futures Project (SFFP) started in 2008 as an effort to study and understand the various forces reshaping the…  More 

Bioenergy: New Ways to Operate

When serious discussions about producing energy from woody biomass first started, the costs of harvesting and hauling the small-diameter wood and residues proposed as feedstocks presented a major barrier to making the wood-to-energy market work. For over a decade now, scientists at the SRS Forest Operations Research unit in Auburn, AL, have been field testing…  More