Linking Water, Forests, & People in Atlanta: Part 1, Urban Forest Assessment

Projects led by Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) researchers support a wide partnership to clean up an urban Atlanta river and revitalize the communities in its watershed. Proctor Creek snakes through downtown Atlanta and eventually works its way north to the Chattahoochee River. Along the way it passes through both middle and lower income…  More 

SRS Sponsors Awards for Future Scientists

Potential future Forest Service scientists participated in this year’s Georgia Science and Engineering Fair, where the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Integrating Human and Natural Systems unit sponsored the  Integrating the Social and Physical/Biological Sciences awards group. More than 700 students took part in this year’s fair. The science fair is a good cross section…  More 

Vulnerability to Climate Change: Hotspots in Georgia

Since the 1970s, the average temperature in the southeastern U.S. has risen, especially during the winter. The increased temperature has been accompanied by other changes: droughts have become more common, and severe storms are more frequent and extreme. “We wanted to determine how these changes in climate are affecting people in Georgia,” says U.S. Forest…  More 

Changing Forest Conditions and Pollinator Decline

“Forests in North America have changed rapidly during the past century,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Jim Hanula. Before European settlement, forests were a mosaic of open pine and hardwood forests, prairies, and woodland savannas. Recent studies have found that forests with sun-filled openings and those with open canopies (where the branches from adjacent trees…  More 

Eastern White Pine: Estimating Survival and Timber Value

Eastern white pine has grown in the eastern U.S. for millennia, but by the late 1800s, most of the old growth stands had been logged. When forestry in the U.S. emerged during the 1890s, white pine was one of the first species to be replanted, and was one of the main species Gifford Pinchot and…  More 

Urban Forestry South Tests New Urban Forest Sustainability and Management Audit System

An audit system developed by the U.S. Forest Service can help urban forest programs benchmark their resources and program capacity, and provide direction for urban forest management programs and plans. Urban Forestry South, a science delivery center of the Forest Service Southern Research Station Integrating Human and Natural Systems unit, recently beta tested their new…  More 

Fighting Earthworm Invasions with Fire

Consider the lowly earthworm, burrowing under your feet and eating old leaves. These activities may seem inconsequential, but they can actually create, change, or destroy habitat. “Earthworms can fundamentally change the soils they inhabit,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Mac Callaham. “They can have such significant effects that they’re often called ecosystem engineers.” The…  More 

Good News for Eradicating Cogongrass in the South

Over the past decade, U.S. Forest Service researchers have been working with university cooperators to find some way to slow down or stop the relentless spread of cogongrass. This last fall, Auburn University researchers reported results that demonstrate, for the first time, that patches of cogongrass can be eliminated completely within three years — showing…  More 

Crash and Burn: How Tornado Damage Affects Fire Behavior

Tornadoes and fires are powerful natural disturbances that can kill trees and cause long lasting changes in community composition. “However, most disturbances are neither rare nor catastrophic,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Joseph O’Brien. “There is a continuum of disturbance severity in most ecosystems, although the interactions among these disturbances haven’t received much study.” One…  More 

Scull Shoals Experimental Forest

  The 4,500-acre Scull Shoals Experimental Forest (Scull Shoals) near Athens, Georgia, has served as the site of silvicultural research studies since the 1930s. In 1959, when the experimental forest was officially designated part of the Oconee National Forest, researchers started studies on the role of fire in silviculture, the development of wildlife habitat, and…  More