The fate of wood

Trees are part of the carbon cycle. When they die, they go on storing carbon for a while. But as the fallen trunks and large branches decompose, that carbon moves into the soil and the atmosphere. USDA Forest Service researcher Carl Trettin and his colleagues have designed a new study to show how wood-carbon moves…  More 

Termites and Dead Wood in Pine Plantations

A handful of the world’s 3,100 known termite species damage homes. In forests, however, termites are valuable. “Termites recycle dead wood,” says U.S. Forest Service research entomologist Michael Ulyshen. Termites consume as much as 20 percent of the dead wood in forests, as Ulyshen showed in 2014. “Dead wood exists at the interface between below…  More 

Taking Termites into Account

  Every homeowner in the Southeast knows about termites and the damage they can do to a house, but most people don’t think about them as forest insects. Termites are saproxylic, meaning they depend on dead or dying wood for at least part of their life cycle, and they play a major role in recycling…  More 

Forest Service Termiticide Testing Program

Termites cause an estimated $5 billion in damages in the United States every year. In the South, where termite damage is legendary, proof of treatment for the insects is often required before a home can be sold. Many people assume that termites are just urban or suburban pests and are surprised to learn that the Forest Service…  More