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 

Here Today or Here to Stay?

Some disturbances come and go, leaving forests no worse for the wear. Hailstorms, insect defoliations, and light prescribed fires, for example, commonly occur early in the growing season, but, because of the timing and nature of these disturbances, trees and other vegetation may quickly regrow leaves after the damage is done. In such cases, even…  More 

A New View of the Forest Canopy of the Smokies

Researchers working at the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center office in Asheville, North Carolina, are just a short drive away from one of the most biodiverse places on the planet: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles 800 square miles of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Although they and…  More 

Faces of the Forest Service: Bill Hargrove

Bill Hargrove likes to wear “loud” shirts, as he describes them—playful prints that reflect the colors and shapes of the natural world as well as a sense of humor that’s hard to match. But it isn’t just his shirts that cause Hargrove to stand out in a crowd. His big ideas and passion for taking…  More 

Forest Service Researchers Map Seasonal Greening in U.S. Forests, Fields, and Urban Areas

Using the assessment tool ForWarn, U.S. Forest Service researchers can monitor the growth and development of vegetation that signals winter’s end and the awakening of a new growing season. Now these researchers have devised a way to more precisely characterize the beginning of seasonal greening, or “greenup,” and compare its timing with that of the…  More 

ForWarn Chosen for National Climate Resilience Toolkit Launched for White House

ForWarn, the satellite-based forest disturbance monitoring system developed by the U.S. Forest Service’s Eastern Forest and Western Wildland Threat Assessment Centers was selected as one of the “top 25” tools included in the  U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit  launched on November 17th for the White House by an interagency team that included members from the Forest…  More 

Sign up Now: October 15th Webinar on Using the ForWarn System

Learn more about using the ForWarn system through a live webinar on October 15, 2014, sponsored by the U.S Forest Service Southern Research Station Eastern Forests Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC). EFETAC research ecologists Steve Norman and William Hargrove with will present a webinar on ForWarn, an online satellite-based change detection tool that maps disturbances…  More 

Forest Health Experts Eye Hurricane Damage in North Carolina’s Coastal Forests

For some residents of the North Carolina coast, the 2014 Independence Day weekend will be remembered not for fireworks and family cookouts, but for damage assessment and cleanup following the high winds and heavy rain that downed trees when Hurricane Arthur came ashore on July 3. U.S. Forest Service researchers believe that Arthur did relatively little…  More 

New Study Finds Lower Elevation Forests More Affected by Drought

Recently published research by scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), the  U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), and two other universities shows how the effects of drought on lower elevation forest watersheds in the Southeast could affect drinking water supplies as the region’s climate continue to change.  Taehee Hwang,…  More 

Learning About Climate Change Can be Fun

On May 6, students from the Schenck Job Corps Center in Pisgah, North Carolina, traveled up the mountain  from their center to test drive a new climate change exhibit at the Cradle of Forestry, the birthplace of forestry and forest conservation located in the Pisgah National Forest. Designed and installed by the U.S. Forest Service Southern…  More