Forest science in the South: Summary of accomplishments for fiscal year 2007

 

science delivery

A spring freeze impacted much of the East, devastating the acorn crop, an important food source for over 100 wildlife species. National Public Radio interviewed a Station scientist, the Station posted information on its Web site, and a synthesis for Ozark National Forest personnel facilitated addressing public concerns about impacts to wildlife and forest dynamics.

Teachers spent a day in the woods on the Cumberland Plateau with professional foresters, professors, and forestry consultants. Teachers were exposed to concepts, benefits, and concerns surrounding forest management, including benefits to wildlife. They received tools to demonstrate the significance of management to sustaining values associated with forests.

Ecosystem services are a growing avenue of interest for private landowners, foresters, and the public. SRS scientists synthesized decades of work on this topic related to pine-dominated landscapes, targeting small private landowners. The Station also initiated a collaborative regional effort to develop a better science-based understanding of ecosystem services in urban areas.

In Mozambique, termites are the main cause of mortality in Eucalyptus seedlings. Utilizing accepted control measures, the Chikweti Forests experienced nearly 100 percent mortality in various locations. With the direct assistance of a SRS scientist, they discovered the fatality was due to errors in the handling and treatment of seedlings prior to planting.

Drastic declines in honeybee populations have caused a renewed interest in native bees, whose population has also declined, primarily due to loss of habitat. The National Agroforestry Center worked with the Xerces Society to develop guidelines and recommendations on how landowners and managers can enhance and create habitat for our native pollinators.

At the request of the Georgia Department of Health, SRS scientists have begun producing daily wildfire maps that provide 72-hour forecasts of the kind of smoke that is known to cause respiratory problems. The forecasts were accessible to State officials, firefighters, and the general public through the Southern High Resolution Modeling Consortium at http://www.shrmc.org/ge.

Southwide data on nonnative invasive plants—infested acreage, spread rates, and damage estimates—are now available to the public on the Forest Inventory and Analysis Web site (http://srsfia2.fs.fed.us/nonnative_invasive/Southern_Nonnative_Invasives.htm). Other details also are available for use in combining invasive plant data with traditional tree, forest condition, and plot attributes from the national FIA Web site.