One-Two Punch Slows Down the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Can combining chemical and biological treatments save eastern hemlocks from the hemlock woolly adelgid? Recently published research by U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators offers hope that integrated management can provide sustained protection for an iconic tree. In an article published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management, Forest Service and university researchers provide findings…  More 

Dreaming of Giants: The Future of American Chestnut Restoration

For almost a hundred years, foresters have dreamed of the American chestnut’s return. “As the 21st century unfolds, the chestnut restoration goal may be closer to reality,” says U.S. Forest Service Southern Reseearch Station (SRS) scientist Stacy Clark. “Chestnut restoration will require an integrated approach that uses traditional breeding, advanced seedling technology, and forest management,” says…  More 

Restoring the Forest Before Gypsy Moths Invade

Keeping forests healthy is better than trying to restore them after droughts or insect outbreaks have already killed trees, but identifying future threats is sometimes a challenge. Not so in the Daniel Boone National Forest in the Cumberland Plateau area of Kentucky. Oaks dominate the area, but they are under stress and susceptible to decline, while invasive…  More 

Changes at Streamside in the Southern Appalachians

The loss of eastern hemlock could affect water yield and storm flow from forest watersheds in the southern Appalachians, according to a new study by U.S. Forest Service scientists at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory (Coweeta) located in Otto, North Carolina. The article was recently published online in the journal Ecohydrology. “Eastern hemlock trees have died throughout…  More 

Jennifer Knoepp Named Soil Science Society of America Fellow

U.S. Forest Service scientist Jennifer Knoepp was recently selected as a Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Fellow for 2014.  Fellow is the highest recognition bestowed by SSSA, an international scientific society whose more than 6,000 members are dedicated to advancing the field of soil science and fostering the transfer of knowledge and practices to…  More 

Young Forests Can Benefit Wildlife

It’s easy to think of forests as peaceful, unchanging places. In reality, this isn’t the case, because forests are much more dynamic than they may seem. In fact, forests are shaped by change, and many forest ecosystems depend upon it. In the aftermath of a major change or disturbance like wildfire or human clearing of…  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 

The Next Fifty Years of Acorn Production

Some acorns go on to become the next generation of oak trees, but others are eaten by birds, bears, rodents, and deer. Rodents are in turn eaten by carnivores, and deer browsing affects which kinds of plants become established and survive. “Acorns have a far-reaching influence on wildlife species and forest ecology,” says U.S. Forest…  More 

Could Increasing Climate Variability Usher In “The Age of the Mediocre Forest?”

In 2001, when large numbers of red spruce trees began dying atop Mt. Mitchell in western North Carolina, U.S Forest Service researchers stepped in to investigate. During the four years before the researchers’ arrival, unusual drought and abnormally high air temperatures combined with acid rain pollution and a rare outbreak of southern pine beetles to…  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