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 

Experimental Forests’ Road Data Go Digital

Many national and experimental forests are crisscrossed by gravel roads that contain culverts and other drainage structures. Some culverts may be overdue for maintenance, while others may be too small for extreme rainfall events. U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station scientists began assessing the capacity of these structures in 2016. The project spans the SRS…  More 

In the Amazon Rainforest, Small Roads Have Big Impacts

Cars, trucks, and other vehicles leave noise, pollution, and roadkill in their wake. But if those impacts are subtracted, what about the roads themselves? “We wanted to untangle the effects of a road from the effects of driving vehicles on that road,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Daniel Saenz. The issue is especially important in…  More 

Learning about the Importance of Proper Road Construction

“It is ironic that roads designed to help people enjoy the Appalachians often destroy the beautiful scenery and clear water that make the mountains so attractive. Poorly constructed access roads often cause severe erosion, and stream sedimentation. These effects can degrade water quality for decades. Erosion can be disastrous in fragile mountain environments, and the…  More 

Coweeta Hosts Workshop on Access Road Construction

A poorly built forest road just won’t stay put. Water runoff from unpaved roads carries soil and road materials away; without proper buffers between roads and waterways, sediments can be transported into streams, degrading water quality and stream habitat. In 1934, U.S. Forest Service scientists at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory began researching how land use change…  More