The USDA Forest Service and the Southern Group of State Foresters released the first phase of the Southern Forest Futures Project report on Tuesday, May 17, which identifies areas forest managers will focus on to maintain southern forests in the coming years.
According to the report, urbanization, bioenergy use, weather patterns, land ownership changes and invasive species will significantly alter the South’s forests between the years 2010 and 2060. About 23 million acres of forest land are projected to decrease. People are also expected to influence water resources, wildlife, recreational opportunities, fire and other issues.
Project team members used computer models and expert analysis to develop the report. It will serve as a guide as Forest Service personnel seek to maintain the vitality and efficiency of forests in the south.
"The agency is poised to respond to the implications of the findings in the summary report," according to Forest Service Southern Regional Forester Liz Agpaoa, "The summary report clearly demonstrates the urgent need for developing a collaborative strategy to conserve and restore southern forests. A healthy and prosperous America relies on the health of our natural resources, and particularly our forests."
The technical and summary reports completes phase one of the two-phase project and begins a 60-day public comment period, wherein people can submit remarks via the Futures Project website at www.srs.fs.usda.gov/futures.
To put the report’s forecast into perspective, Rob Doudrick, director of the Forest Service Southern Research Station, said the potential decrease in forest area is equivalent to the state of South Carolina. “Urbanization along with population growth equates to more demands for additional goods and services from a declining forest base. This could have a dramatic impact on our Southern forests,” he said.
Additional key findings are:Population growth will bring more runoff from roads, buildings, and parking lots as well as increased pollution, impacting supplies of clean drinking water and the quality of aquatic habitats.
"Over the next 50 years, multiple forces will interact to determine the future of southern forests," said Charlie Morgan, Mississippi State Forester and chairman of the Southern Group of State Foresters. "This report will give state foresters information they need to inform their programs and make decisions in their respective states."
More than 30 scientists, researchers, foresters and other experts with the Forest Service, state forestry agencies and universities contributed to the study.
"The Forest Service was well positioned to undertake this complex project," said Dave Wear, project co-leader and economist with the Southern Research Station. "In the South we have a network of scientists from the various scientific disciplines needed to address all of the issues and forest managers dealing with them on a day-to-day basis."
Beginning in Fall 2011, the Forest Service will release separate reports that detail the findings and implications for forest management and conservation for five sub-regions of the South, which are the Piedmont, Coastal Plain, Appalachian/Cumberland, Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Mid-South. The 13 southern states included in the study are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Headquartered in Asheville, NC, the Southern Research Station is comprised of more than 120 scientists who conduct natural resource research in 20 locations across 13 southern states (Virginia to Texas). The Station’s mission is “…to create the science and technology needed to sustain and enhance southern forest ecosystems and the benefits they provide.” Learn more about the Southern Research Station at:www.srs.fs.usda.gov.
The Southern Region oversees 14 national forests and two special units in 13 states and Puerto Rico, working with states and private landowners to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
Zoë Hoyle | EurekAlert!
Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State
How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy