Our mission: To provide the basic biological and ecological knowledge and innovative management strategies required for management and control of native and non-native insect pests, disease pathogens and invasive plants in changing forest ecosystems.

Welcome to the Southern Research Station’s Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants Research Work Unit website. Our mission is to provide the basic biological and ecological knowledge and innovative management strategies required for management and control of native and non-native insect pests, disease pathogens and invasive plants in changing forest ecosystems. Learn more about us →

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Newsletter
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Latest issue of Southern Forest Health Newsletter: Summer 2019

In this issue: SPB outbreak waning in Mississippi, Investigating understory plant species turnover, Laurel wilt in KY and TN, Fighting the laurel wilt fungus with fungus, Autotoxicity research, and more.

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News & Events

Countering Thousand Cankers Disease

In recent decades, thousand cankers disease has become a concern for walnut growers and hardwood forest managers in the United States. A variety of measures have been investigated or developed to counter the disease. A study led by USDA Forest Service research entomologist Albert Mayfield and former University of Tennessee graduate student Jackson Audley looked at one measure: quarantine treatments.


Deadwood in Longleaf Pine Forests

Longleaf pine forests are important ecosystems for a broad array of wildlife and understory plant species, such as the red-cockaded woodpecker, the southeastern fox squirrel, and the venus fly trap. Over time, the forests have dwindled due to replacement by other land uses and the suppression of fires with which they evolved. Now, they are a focus of restoration efforts.


Hemlock Seedlings Released from Shade

“Eastern hemlock is a shade-tolerant species,” says USDA Forest Service research entomologist Bud Mayfield. “But extra sunlight may help it survive HWA infestation.” Extra sunlight equals fewer HWA, at least on potted hemlock seedlings grown under shade cloth.

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