Volume 8, Issue 1 - March/April 2015
Eastern Threat Center Highlights Cont'd
A Future for Freeze-Tolerant Eucalyptus in the South?
Eucalyptus, a fast-growing tree native to Australia and Indonesia, is planted across large areas of Asia, Africa, and South America as a major source of hardwood fiber for paper and biofuels. Because of its sensitivity to freezing temperatures, Eucalyptus hasn’t been planted extensively in the U.S., where fiber markets are dominated by softwood from pines grown in the Southeast, but there is increasing interest in the South in the development of a freeze-tolerant Eucalyptus species to grow in plantations as a hardwood fiber source. Recently published research by Southern Research Station and Eastern Threat Center scientists provides important first-time analyses of the potential impacts of introducing plantations of freeze-tolerant Eucalyptus into the South. Read more in CompassLive...
Left: Fast-growing Eucalyptus in south Florida. Photo by Edward L. Barnard, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org.
The Forest Family: Relationships among Tree Species
Like all species, forest trees have their own web of relationships. Studying their evolutionary ties is the main focus of phylogenetics, and can assist in forest health assessment. “Understanding relationships among tree species can show how they interact with each other and with the environment,” says North Carolina State University scientist Kevin Potter. “Phylogenetics can be used to assess forest health from the perspective of biodiversity and resilience to stress.” Potter, a research cooperator with the Eastern Threat Center, is lead author of a new study that analyzes forest phylogenetics across the entire United States. The study was coauthored by Center research ecologist Frank Koch, and was recently published in Forest Science. Read more in CompassLive...
The Future of Streams: Using Air Temperature to Model Stream Warming
Stream temperatures affect the health of aquatic animals as well as many other biological and ecological processes. However, finding out whether – or how much – streams are warming has been difficult, as long-term temperature data do not exist for many waterways. A new Southern Research Station-led study supported by the Eastern Threat Center shows that long-term historic air temperature data can be coupled with short-term stream temperature to predict future warming in streams. Read more in CompassLive...
Right: Researchers estimated historical and future changes in stream temperature and predicted that streams in the Appalachian ecoregion are among the most vulnerable to climate change. Photo by Stewart Tomlinson, US Geological Survey.