Sunlight to the Seagrasses

Just off Florida’s 8,000 miles of coastline and tidal areas, in shallow sunlit waters, over 2 million acres of seagrass meadows waft in the ocean currents. Besides providing food and habitat for manatees, sea turtles, shellfish, and other animals, seagrasses protect coasts from erosion and store vast quantities of carbon dioxide. “Seagrasses grow off the…  More 

UNC and SRS Scientists Awarded NSF-USDA Grant to Address Water Scarcity in the Southeast

University of North Carolina (UNC) and U.S. Forest Service researchers with the Center for Integrated Forest Science (CIFS) recently received a $2.2 million grant from the National Science Foundationand the USDA to design strategies for communities in southeastern U.S. shifting from water abundance to water scarcity due to climate change effects on weather patterns. Accustomed…  More 

Bold Moves Needed to Save North America’s Freshwater Mussels

North America’s freshwater mussels are in grave danger of disappearing. Though there’s been progress in learning about freshwater mussel biology and effective techniques developed to propagate mussel species, conservation efforts should focus more directly on bold and aggressive habitat restoration, according to a recently published review paper by U.S. Forest Service researcher Wendell Haag. In…  More 

Driving OHVs through Streams

Millions of people enjoy nature while riding all-terrain vehicles, utility or recreational off-highway vehicles, or off-highway motorcycles. Collectively, these vehicles are called off-highway vehicles or OHVs, and in the southeastern U.S. – especially in Arkansas – much of this vehicle use occurs on U.S. Forest Service lands or other public lands. In Arkansas, increased off-highway…  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 

When It Rains, It Pours…and Increases Soil Erosion Potential in a Changing Climate

Anyone who has seen a gully carved by water flowing over land or a muddied creek following a rainstorm has witnessed soil erosion. Beyond its messiness, water-caused soil erosion can have far reaching impacts. When nutrients and organic matter in soils are washed away, decreased soil fertility affects food production, sediment entering streams and rivers…  More 

International Evapotranspiration Symposium: April 7 – 10, 2014, Raleigh, NC

  Register now for Evapotranspiration: Challenges in Measurement and Modeling from the Leaf to the Landscape Scale and Beyond. An important part of the hydrologic water cycle is plant water use (transpiration) and evaporation from earth and ocean surfaces. Together, these two processes are called evapotranspiration. Scientists and engineers studying climate, ecosystem productivity, water use,…  More 

Finding the Nitrogen: Modeling Forest Fertilizer Runoff

Pine forests in the southeastern United States are more productive than ever, and fertilizers can take some of the credit. But not all fertilizer goes toward plant growth. Some of it runs off into rivers and streams, where it can degrade water quality. A number of water quality models are available  to predict fertilizer runoff. A…  More 

Southern Forests and Water

  The Southern Forest Futures Project Technical Report is now available online, both in entirety and by chapter. The report forecasts changes in forest conditions and resources based on a variety of scenarios—potential futures—and analyzes what those changes might mean for the future of southern forests. Over the next few months, CompassLive will feature key…  More 

What’s in Your Drinking Water?

Turning on the faucet and running a glass of tap water may not spark wonder about its origin, but with one sip youre able to assess its quality. What do you taste? In the North Carolina Piedmont, Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center scientists work to improve water quality and reduce the threat of water…  More