For many of us, winter in the Northeast means cold temperatures and piles of snow, drifting through forests and across fields. It’s hard to imagine that winter here could be different, but the prospect of climate change has scientists asking just what our winters might look like in the future – and how those changes might influence forest ecology.
They may be down but they're not out: Damaging insects can emerge from fallen trees and logs for several years after a major storm, according to a U.S. Forest Service study that reinforces longstanding warnings against moving firewood from place to place.
Tis the season when many Americans welcome trees into their homes. For millions of us, fresh-cut evergreens are at the heart of Christmas celebrations – a symbol of hope and joy. Sadly, the situation facing America’s trees is neither hopeful nor joyous.
The scourge of forest pests is expected to put almost two thirds of America’s forests at risk by 2027, costing several billion dollars every year for dead tree removal and jeopardizing longstanding U.S. industries that rely on timber.
Growing reliance on both trees and trade makes imported forest pests the most pressing, and under-appreciated, forest health issue in the US today. Five high-priority policy actions that build on proven prevention measures can reduce the arrival and establishment of new forest pests.
Hemlock is a "foundation" tree species in eastern forests and its presence defines the properties of a unique ecosystem that is presently declining due to the introduction and spread of an invasive insect, the hemlock woolly adelgid.
We measure key aspects of forest productivity, species composition and nutrient cycling in the mixed-oak forest at Cary. This long-term monitoring allows us to track trends in the forest ecosystem resulting from air pollution and other stresses.
In forests dominated by mast-producing trees,consumers are confronted with the sporadic production of abundant resources. Animals, such as the white-footed mouse and eastern chipmunk, rely on these pulsed resources.
Stabilizing a deer population requires a balance between annual recruitment and mortality. For a population reduction, mortality must exceed recruitment. Using hunting as our primary management tool, our hunters are required to focus their efforts on culling females as well as males.
Presently, hunter observations are used as the technique to assess if Cary controlled hunts are stabilizing local deer numbers. Night spotlight counts of deer have been used to index trends in abundance in the past. The observations of deer by bow hunters, has yielded data that have correlated very well with spotlighting numbers with the observation data easier and less expensive to obtain.
Since 1983, Mr. Winchcombe has been monitoring the intensity of deer browsing on the major tree species on the Cary Institute's grounds. Browsing intensity varies annually, with over-winter browsing linked to total winter snowfall amounts. Browsing studies help govern deer management strategies, with heavy browsing highlighting the need to further reduce local deer numbers.