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Highlight IDTitleStrategic Program Area(s)YearStation
Photo of Rock skullcap flower. Ronald A. Polgar, USDA Forest Service
ID: 610
A Globally Rare Plant's Response to Fire

The resiliency of rock skullcap, a globally rare plant, was studied by a Forest Service scientist working with a National Forest System ecologis ...

Principal Investigator : Cynthia Huebner

Inventory and Monitoring2014NRS
Photo of The figure displays age class in red spruce-dominated forests by alternative and for three time steps (year 0, year 30, and year 100) for a portion of the study area as a result of the models.  There are some differences in the alternatives in the amount of red spruce forest by age class and their location on the landscape. USDA Forest Service
ID: 865
A Landscape Model for Planning Red Spruce Restoration in West Virginia

A Forest Service scientist developed a model to answer specific questions about meeting restoration goals for red spruce while protecting habita ...

Principal Investigator : Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Resource Management and Use
Wildlife and Fish
2015NRS
Photo of Henson Creek, a high-elevation stream located in a multiple use watershed within Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, Otto, N.C. Darlene Madarish, USDA Forest Service
ID: 626
A Tale of Nitrogen Retention From Two Watersheds

Because elevated nitrogen loading can impair terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, understanding the origins, retention, and export of nitrogen fr ...

Principal Investigator : Mary Beth Adams

Water, Air, and Soil2014NRS
Photo of High resolution laser scan of a red oak log. R. Edward Thomas, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1130
Analyzing Internal Hardwood Log Defect Prediction Equation Accuracy

The type, size, and location of internal defects dictate the grade and value of lumber sawn from hardwood logs. Significant correlations have be ...

Principal Investigator : Ed Thomas

Resource Management and Use2016NRS
Photo of Brighton Development in Barnegat Township, 2007 Warren Grove Wildfire. Gregory S. McLaughlin, New Jersey Forest Fire Service
ID: 874
Assessing Fire Risk at the Wildland-urban Interface Using LiDAR

Assessing wildland fire risk in the wildland–urban interface is difficult because each home and parcel has unique characteristics. Forest Serv ...

Principal Investigator : Nicholas Skowronski

Wildland Fire and Fuels2015NRS
Photo of Sampling tank-stored fracing fluids. Pam Edwards, Forest Service
ID: 314
Chloride Concentrations in Recovered Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Increase With Depth of Tank

The hydraulic fracturing fluid used in natural gas extraction in the northeastern Appalachians raises concerns about safe disposal. Forest Servi ...

Principal Investigator : Pamela Edwards

Water, Air, and Soil2011NRS
Photo of The image is an example of canopy gap delineation. On the right is the post-burn, leaf-on imagery from the USDA National Agricultural Imagery Program used to identify the canopy gaps created by prescribed fire. Gap boundaries also superimposed on pre-burn imagery on the left side of the image.
ID: 1243
Collaboration makes fire science available and useful to land managers

Forest Service researchers and foresters are partnering to document the effects of landscape-scale prescribed fire on the George Washington and ...

Principal Investigator : Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
Inventory and Monitoring
Wildland Fire and Fuels
2017NRS
Photo of High-quality stream on Tioga State Forest, Penn., located in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay.  Decline of eastern hemlock from hemlock woolly adelgid infestations, may affect the hydrology of the local watershed.
ID: 1218
Collaboration seeks to preserve Chesapeake Bay Watershed health in the face of hemlock decline

Few studies have examined how insect outbreaks affect landscape-level hydrologic processes. Anticipating hydrologic impacts resulting from the d ...

Principal Investigator : Mary Ann Fajvan

Invasive Species2017NRS
Photo of Comparing number of non-native and native species. Sandy Liebhold, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1178
Comparison of Native and Non-native Insect Communities Reflects Importance of Pathways

Insect species are accidentally moved around the world and often cause considerable damage when established. An analysis of insect invasions wor ...

Principal Investigator : Andrew M. Liebhold

Resource Management and Use2016NRS
Photo of Gravel application to a newly constructed forest road to protect the road surface from erosion, and woody material from the road right-of-way positions as a windrow on the fillslope (right side of photo) to trap any sediment transported off the road.
ID: 1242
Comprehensive information about road best management practices effectiveness helps protect water quality on forest lands

Sediment is the most common pollutant associated with forests, and roads are the most common sources of sediment in forests. Best management pra ...

Principal Investigator : Pamela Edwards

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
Wildlife and Fish
2017NRS
Photo of House under construction in the framing stage. Michael Luckado
ID: 646
Construction-Sector Developments in Europe, 2012-2013

A Forest Service scientist has analyzed the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe area's housing construction market.

Principal Investigator : Delton Alderman

Resource Management and Use2014NRS
Photo of A healthy, vigorous  2 year old DED-tolerant American elm seedling growing on a reclaimed mine site. USDA Forest Service
ID: 847
Disease-resistant American Elms are Suitable for Mine-land Reforestation

Almost 1 million acres of reclaimed mine land in the Appalachians are no longer forested. Restoring these lands to productive forests requires ...

Principal Investigator : Mary Beth Adams

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2015NRS
Photo of Rubus, a plant spcies found in forests which responds to elevated nitrogen when there is sufficient light. This response can change the herb layer diversity in eastern forests. Christopher A. Walter, West Virgina University.
ID: 1170
Elevated Nitrogen Deposition Changes Herb Layer Diversity

Adding nitrogen to a forest stand decreased the diversity of the herb layer over time by increasing the amount of Rubus spp. (blackberry), which ...

Principal Investigator : Mary Beth Adams

Water, Air, and Soil2016NRS
Photo of A radio-collared Carolina northern flying squirrel. Corrine A. Diggins, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.
ID: 615
Elusive Carolina Northern Flying Squirrels in Red Spruce Forests Face Survival Challenges

The endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel is a secretive, nocturnal species and not much is known about its behavior and ecology. Forest ...

Principal Investigator : Jane Rodrigue

Wildlife and Fish2014NRS
Photo of Fire damaged logs from the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia were transported to the mill for processing and analysis of potential losses in volume and quality. Jan Wiedenbeck, USDA Forest Service.
ID: 619
Fire in my hardwood forest... is my investment in my family's future lost

Does the idea "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" apply when a low- to medium-intensity wildfire or prescribed fire has run through a har ...

Principal Investigator : Janice (Jan) K. Wiedenbeck

Resource Management and Use
Wildland Fire and Fuels
2014NRS
Photo of Top 20 energy conservation recommendations for SIC 24 (Lumber and Wood Products, Except Furniture) based on 437 assessments conducted under the Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program during the period 2000-July 2015.  If all of the 3,295 recommendations offered were implemented, the annual energy savings for this industry sector would be 10 percent per year.  Based on the actual implementation rate, the energy savings is 4.2 percent per year. USDA Forest Service
ID: 868
Forest Products Industry Competitiveness Strengthened Through Energy Management and Savings

Cutting energy costs in wood products manufacturing is good for the environment and a long-overlooked way for companies to reduce their operatin ...

Principal Investigator : Janice (Jan) K. Wiedenbeck

Resource Management and Use2015NRS
Photo of Example of regionally (Ridge and Valley) defined species Gaultheria procumbens. Cynthia D. Huebner, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 969
Forests Characterized More by Regionally Defined Understory Species are Less Vulnerable to Invasion

Current forest understory composition may help predict future invasion by exotic plants. Sites with species that can be found across regions and ...

Principal Investigator : Cynthia Huebner

Invasive Species
Resource Management and Use
2016NRS
Photo of How much forest biomass to leave behind or remove Shawn Grushesky, West Virginia University Appalachian Hardwood Center
ID: 55
Guidelines for Forest Biomass Utilization

Online resource offers environmentally and economically sound biomass utilization in the Appalachian Mountains

Principal Investigator : Mary Beth Adams

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2012NRS
Photo of Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data showing the cover of understory vegetation a 1 to 2 meter height before and after prescribed fire in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. <b>Green</b> indicates < 10 % cover, and <b>red</b> indicates > 40% cover.  The area covered by the figures is 9 km<sup>2</sup>.   Forest Service
ID: 211
Hazardous Fuel Assessments Using LIDAR and Field Measurements

Lasers, in what is termed Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems, are being used by NRS researchers Nicholas Skowronski and Kenneth Clark t ...

Principal Investigator : Nicholas Skowronski

Wildland Fire and Fuels2010NRS
Photo of Historically, U.S. housing construction and sales have been a major component of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
ID: 1288
Housing markets are critical to the wood products industry

U.S. and international housing markets are critical to the wood products industry, as new single-family units consume more value-added wood prod ...

Principal Investigator : Delton Alderman

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2017FPL
Photo of High-resolution point cloud image of a scanned red oak log. Ed Thomas, USDA Forest Service
ID: 635
Improved Automated Detection of Surface Defects on Hardwood Logs

In less than one second, a new parallel computer algorithm processes more than a million surface data points on a hardwood log to find the defec ...

Principal Investigator : Ed Thomas

Resource Management and Use2014NRS
Photo of A simple depiction of the hydrologic cycle Robin L. Quinlivan. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 987
Improving Watershed Management and Water Quality by Creating a More Informed Citizenry

Primers about hydrology, watershed management, and soil erosion were written to provide scientific information in an easy to understand format f ...

Principal Investigator : Pamela Edwards

Water, Air, and Soil2016NRS
Photo of Laser scanned image of a low grade, small diameter yellow-poplar log with large knots.
ID: 1227
Investigating the potential of cross-laminated timber panels made from low-grade hardwoods for building construction

The emergence of cross-laminated timber (CLT) for building construction in North America may provide an additional and valuable product market f ...

Principal Investigator : Ed Thomas

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2017NRS
Photo of Fence line of one of the plots with canopy gaps.  The vegetation is noticeably taller and denser inside the fence as compared to outside the fence. USDA Forest Service
ID: 866
Investigating the Roles of Fire, Browse, and Canopy Gaps in the Understory of an Oak-dominated Forest

Current forests developed under conditions different from original forests, with more deer, less fire, and smaller canopy gaps. This has resulte ...

Principal Investigator : Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Resource Management and Use2015NRS
Photo of Water in a stream on the Fernow Experimental Forest.
ID: 1439
New Methods, Old Studies Reveal Source of Carbon in Lakes and Streams

Over recent decades, dissolved organic carbon concentrations (DOC) in lakes and streams have increased through the northern hemisphere, leading ...

Principal Investigator : Mary Beth Adams

Water, Air, and Soil
Wildlife and Fish
2018NRS
Photo of Watershed locations in the southern Appalachian states of Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. MB Adams, USDA Forest Service
ID: 487
Ozone and Climate Change Interact to Affect Streamflow

Climate change is affecting the Nation's forests, but not in isolation. Tropospheric ozone has long been known to affect the health of individua ...

Principal Investigator : Mary Beth Adams

Water, Air, and Soil2013NRS
Photo of
ID: 1215
Predicting pest invasions

During the last 150 years, hundreds of forest insects have been accidently introduced to the U.S., and many of these have caused substantial dam ...

Principal Investigator : Andrew M. Liebhold

Invasive Species2017NRS
Photo of Screenshot of Hardwood Log Sawing Program showing control panel, log end and side views. Ed Thomas, USDA Forest Service
ID: 485
RAYSAW Computer Program Can Grade Hardwood Logs and Calculate its Value

RAYSAW is a computer program developed by Forest Service scientists for hardwood log sawing that processes high-resolution laser-scanned hardwoo ...

Principal Investigator : Ed Thomas

Resource Management and Use2013NRS
Photo of
ID: 1212
Re-establishing pollinator habitat on mined lands using the forestry reclamation approach

Many pollinator species are threatened worldwide for many reasons, including habitat loss. In Appalachia, native forests serve as critical polli ...

Principal Investigator : Mary Beth Adams

 2017NRS
Photo of The compound figure shows historic photos of large trees. the first is one that had been used as an example of an American chestnut in the pre-blight forest, the second photo shows a similar tree and setting that is of a redwood in California, the third photo is a documented photo of a large American chestnut before the blight. The figure was published in the journal Chestnut.
ID: 1009
Restoration of a Forest Giant

The blight resistance of a variety of families of hybrid American chestnuts is under study on the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. ...

Principal Investigator : Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Resource Management and Use2016NRS
Photo of Top hardwood lumber producers and exporters 1995 and 2013.
ID: 876
Role of the United States in Changing Worldwide Hardwood Lumber Production and Markets

Hardwood markets are increasingly global, and understanding the role U.S. hardwood lumber plays in worldwide consumption and trade is valuable t ...

Principal Investigator : William Luppold

Resource Management and Use2015NRS
Photo of An example of typical understory conditions in the Summer of 2008 on one of the fenced subplots on the Monongahela National Forest. Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy, USDA Forest Service
ID: 621
Roles of Fire, Browse, and Canopy Gaps in the Understory of an Oak-dominated Forest

Current forests developed under conditions different from original forests, with more deer, less fire, and smaller canopy gaps. The difference r ...

Principal Investigator : Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Resource Management and Use2014NRS
Photo of Ailanthus stems overtopping regeneration in shelterwood cut stands in southeast Pennsylvania on private land. LeDoux, Chris, USDA Forest Service
ID: 469
Scientist Proposes Best Management Practices to Protect Forests from Invasive Species

Forest Service scientists have developed best management practices that should significantly reduce the spread of invasive plants during timber ...

Principal Investigator : Chris B. LeDoux

Invasive Species2013NRS
Photo of The percentage of hardwood lumber used in higher-value products has decreased in recent years. William Luppold, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1077
Shifts in U.S. Hardwood Lumber Consumption

After the Great Recession, hardwood lumber consumption declined by 43 percent from the peak in 1999. The corresponding changes in consumption pa ...

Principal Investigator : William Luppold

Resource Management and Use2016NRS
Photo of The mean proportion of grade 1 butt logs for the diameter-limit, single tree selection, and partial cutting harvests as estimated at 15 year fixed intervals. USDA Forest Service
ID: 877
Silvicultural Prescriptions Affect Hardwood Tree Quality Over Five Decades of Management

Analysis of 50-year records of harvests on the Fernow Experimental Forest in west Virginia by Forest Service scientists demonstrates that diamet ...

Principal Investigator : John Brown

Resource Management and Use2015NRS
Photo of Small-diameter logs, especially when straight, can yield lumber volumes comparable to larger diameter logs. Jan Weidenbeck, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1010
Small-diameter Hardwood Markets, Revisited

Standard operating procedures for merchandizing hardwood roundwood from timber harvests is to ship small-diameter wood to a wood chipping/strand ...

Principal Investigator : Janice (Jan) K. Wiedenbeck

Resource Management and Use2016NRS
Photo of Flats containing soil samples and germinants growing within a greenhouse.  The germinants are plant species found in the collected soil within the invaded, mixed, early successional, and mature forest sites.
ID: 1193
Soil seed banks predict future forest composition

Soil seed banks help define both forest health and the likelihood of invasion. In a comparison of soil seed banks at four sites in West Virginia ...

Principal Investigator : Cynthia Huebner

 2017NRS
Photo of Excavating the roots. USDA Forest Service
ID: 857
Staghorn Sumac Out-competes Ailanthus Under Different Light and Density Conditions

In a greenhouse and common garden study led by a Forest Service scientist, staghorn sumac out-competed ailanthus (tree-of-heaven). Thus, at leas ...

Principal Investigator : Cynthia Huebner

Invasive Species
Resource Management and Use
2015NRS
Photo of Two oak trees of different diameters after prescribed fire. The larger of the two, though charred higher up the bole, is more likely to survive.
ID: 1230
Study reveals how to minimize overstory mortality when using shelterwood-burn techniques to restore oak forests

Hardwood forests, and especially oak forests, in the eastern U.S. often require fire to create forest conditions suitable for successful stand r ...

Principal Investigator : John Brown

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2017NRS
Photo of Proportion of grade one trees harvested over time for three harvest types. John Brown, USDA Forest Service.
ID: 641
Sustaining Tree Quality Under Three Harvesting Methods

The quality of trees grown and harvested under various methods exhibits changing patterns over time. A Forest Service scientist studied three me ...

Principal Investigator : John Brown

Resource Management and Use2014NRS
Photo of Photo of hemlock tree crown released by the thinning treatment. Mary Ann Fajvan, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1128
Thinning Effects on Foliar Elements in Eastern Hemlock: Implications for Managing the Spread of Hemlock Woolly Adlegid

With the imminent entrance of hemlock woolly adlegid (HWA) into forest stands in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, it was critical ...

Principal Investigator : Mary Ann Fajvan

Invasive Species2016NRS
Photo of Changes in age classes for red spruce and red spruce-northern hardwood forest types combined for a section of the study area (about 13,000 acres) at three time steps. Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy, USDA Forest Service
ID: 614
Using a Landscape Model for Planning Red Spruce Restoration in West Virginia

A new Forest Service model was developed to answer specific questions about meeting restoration goals for red spruce while protecting habitat fo ...

Principal Investigator : Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Resource Management and Use
Wildlife and Fish
2014NRS
Photo of Housing permits, starts, and completions, 1968-2012, in thousands. Delton Alderman, USDA Forest Service
ID: 500
Vital Information About the Housing Market Made Available to Stakeholders

Historically, the U. S. housing segment utilizes a substantial quantity of forest products. A Forest Service scientist analyzed the pertinent da ...

Principal Investigator : Delton Alderman

Resource Management and Use2013NRS
Photo of The figure is the cover of the station publication for the Minnesota work showing the percentage of pyrophilic witness trees across most of Minnesota with photos illustrating typical fire behavior for three areas. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1097
Witness Trees as Indicators of Past Fire

In ecosystem restoration, the question “What was the forest like back then?” is often difficult to answer. Understanding and mapping forest ...

Principal Investigator : Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Resource Management and Use2016NRS
Photo of The Monongahela National Forest is classified according to fire influence on species composition. Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy, USDA Forest Service
ID: 488
Witness Trees Reveal Where to Restore Fire

To help land managers make decisions and plan for restoration of oak-dominated forests, witness trees from early surveys were used by a Forest S ...

Principal Investigator : Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Wildland Fire and Fuels
Resource Management and Use
2013NRS
Photo of Journal cover. William Peterjohn, WVU.
ID: 507
Writing Appalachian Ecology: Essays and Outreach

In the summer of 2012 and 2013, students from West Virginia University's English Department, along with their instructors, participated in an un ...

Principal Investigator : Mary Beth Adams

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2013NRS
Photo of A map showing the boundaries of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.  The outlines of four national forests are also included.  The results of calculating the percentage of pyrophilic witness tree species from town-level surveys are displayed as a color gradient from red to green, with red indicating a high percentage of pyrophilic species and green a low percentage.  The red starts in the south and grades to green further north.  Also displayed is an approximation of the tension zone line between generally wetter forests to the north and drier forests to the south. USDA Forest Service
ID: 875
“Witness Trees” as Indicators of Past Fire

In ecosystem restoration, the question of “What was it like back then?” is often difficult to answer. Understanding and mapping forest compo ...

Principal Investigator : Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Resource Management and Use2015NRS