Earthworm diversity linked to latitude and isolation

Earthworms don’t get enough attention, according to USDA Forest Service research ecologist Mac Callaham. “Earthworms have profound influences on soil habitat and other soil animals,” says Callaham. “They’re called ecosystem engineers. Their behavior and influence can help us understand how the systems are functioning and how we can best manage natural resources.” But until we…  More 

American Ginseng, in the Forest and in the Marketplace

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a plant of great value. Tens of thousands of pounds are harvested from the wild each year. But the average harvest amount has dwindled, while price has skyrocketed. “It’s pretty unusual that the more effort put towards producing something, the less is produced,” says USDA Forest Service researcher Greg Frey.…  More 

Pondberry Seed Fate: Animal Dispersers, Animal Predators

Although pondberry can still be found in nine southern states, it is vanishingly rare. “Pondberry is an endangered species,” says Andreza Martins. “In most states, only one or two populations of the shrub are known to exist.” Currently a forest engineer in Brazil, Martins interned at the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) in 2005…  More 

U.S. Forest Service Publishes Plan for North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)

Just published online by the Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), A Plan for the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) provides detailed guidelines for participating in NABat, an international multiagency program created to provide the data needed to make effective decisions about bat populations across the North American continent. Susan Loeb, SRS research ecologist,…  More 

Jim Barnett Wins Drum Major for Service Award

On January 12, SRS research forester emeritus James P. (Jim) Barnett received an MLK Drum Major for Service Award during the USDA National Service Day observance honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Drum Major award is presented to individuals who have made a different in their communities through volunteering. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell accepted the…  More