Formidable Forest Shrubs Affect Tree Height and Biomass

Forests are made of three-dimensional life forms that constantly interact with each other and with the abiotic factors in their environment. A recent study shows how complex those interactions can be. “Trees growing within an evergreen shrub layer can be almost 20 feet shorter than trees without a shrub layer,” says USDA Forest Service scientist…  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 

Climate Drivers of Carbon Gain and Water Loss in a Southern Appalachian Forest

The planet is warming, and warmth revs the machinery of life. “As it gets warmer, living things burn up more carbon through respiration,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Chris Oishi. “It’s true of trees and soil microbes.” Soil is bursting with invertebrate life, microbial life, and living plant roots. It’s also where decomposers do their…  More 

A Tour of the Eastern Experimental Forests

In February 2018, Southern Research Station scientists and staff participated in the second round of SRS experimental forest tours. SRS manages 19 experimental forests. Three teams visited 11 eastern experimental forests over five days. In September 2017, two teams had visited eight of the western experimental forests. Experimental forests are a station-level asset. They are…  More 

Daily Precipitation Patterns Are Changing at Coweeta

Since 1950, heavy rains have become more common in the southern Appalachians. U.S. Forest Service researchers have witnessed such changes at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory. Coweeta was established in 1934. Its location in the mountains of western North Carolina is no accident – early Forest Service researchers strategically selected it. “Coweeta receives as much as 90…  More