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Southern Research Station

Forest and Plant Health

An adult Laricobius nigrinus beetle on a hemlock twig. Photo by Bryan Mudder, USFS
Photo Credits
Photo by Bryan Mudder, USFS

An adult Laricobius nigrinus beetle on a hemlock twig

Emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, redbay ambrosia beetle, and a long list of other nonnative insects and diseases affect southern forests. Nonnative plants spread widely through forests, affecting species composition, wildlife habitat, wildfire risk, and ecosystem function. In addition, some native species, such as the southern pine beetle, kill large numbers of trees. 

At the Southern Research Station, we work closely with the Forest Health Program of the Forest Service to document the spread of pests and pathogens and develop practices that can slow them down. For example, our research shows that new plant invasions can begin at ports of entry. We develop, test, and share methods for mitigating the damaging impacts of pests and pathogens.

Data and Tools