Do Roads Drive Forest Plant Invasions?

Roads provide a means for moving people and products, but they can also allow hitchhiking organisms to spread. Some exotic invasive plants thrive on the disturbance created by road construction that displaces native plants. However, a new study led by Kurt Riitters, U.S. Forest Service research ecologist with the SRS Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center, found…  More 

Annual Report Keeps a Finger on the Pulse of U.S. Forest Health

Everyone can understand the importance of a yearly checkup for monitoring one’s general health and wellbeing. Regular “checkups” are also necessary to gauge the overall health and monitoring needs of U.S. forests, so managers, scientists, and decision makers look to the U.S. Forest Service’s annual Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) national report to gain insights into…  More 

The Appalachian-Cumberland Highland: The Next 50 Years

Knowing more about how the future might unfold can improve decisions that are sure to have long-term consequences. The Southern Forest Futures Project, a multi-agency effort led by the U.S. Forest Service, aimed to forecast and interpret changes in southern forests under multiple scenarios over the next several decades. The project also included a suite…  More 

Worldwide Loss of Interior Forest

Between 2000 and 2012, the world lost forest area and gained forest area. But the losses exceeded the gains, according to U.S. Forest Service researchers and partners who compared tree cover data from those years and estimated a global net loss of 1.71 million square kilometers of forest — an area about two and a…  More 

Fragmented Forests

The Southern Forest Resource Assessment published by the Southern Research Station defined forest fragmentation as the breaking up of large, contiguous (touching one another) forested tracts into smaller or less contiguous tracts. This means that forests become islands or peninsulas — patches of woods disconnected from one another by roads, farms, suburbs, cities, and other…  More 

Interior Forest on the Wane in the United States

Interior forest, which can be simply defined as forest area surrounded by more forest, supports a wide range of plants and animals that do not thrive in forest edges or the small patches of woods left by human activities. Many of the nations most important rivers originate in interior forest, which also shelters municipal watersheds and…  More