Summer in the South: Kudzu and oriental bittersweet

Midsummer finds many places in the southeastern United States engulfed in kudzu and other nonnative invasive plants. Forest Service researchers bring a variety of approaches to this problem.

Forest Fragmentation - SRS researcher Kurt Riitters and collaborators from universities and other federal agencies are using high-resolution land cover maps derived from satellite images to model forest fragmentation in the United States. Recent studies show that, although there are still large uninterrupted areas of forest in the United States, almost 62 percent of U.S. forest land is within 150 meters (492 feet) of the forest edge. Another study found that half of U.S. land area is within 382 meters (1253 feet) of a road. Fragmentation of forests alters or removes habitat, disrupts the movement of wildlife, and promotes the introduction of nonnative invasive plant species.

Contact: Kurt Riitters
Forest Health Monitoring

Nonnative Invasive Plants - Nonnative invasive plants infest millions of acres of public and private forest land in the southeastern United States, and are spreading steadily from disturbed areas into forests. In 2003, SRS researcher James Miller published a new guide for identifying and controlling the 33 plants that are doing the most damage to Southern forests. Along with detailed identification guides, the book provides general control information and specific prescriptions for individual plants.

Contact: James Miller
Research Ecologist

Copies of the guide are available free at www.srs.fs.usda.gov (General Technical Report, SRS-62).

Oriental Bittersweet: A Patient Invader - Oriental bittersweet (Celastr

Contact: Zoe Hoyle
Southern Research Station - USDA Forest Service

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