New and revised publications from the University of Florida Insitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Valuing the Ecosystem Services of Florida‹s Forest Conservation Programs: The Economic Benefits of Protecting Water Quality (FOR309/FR377)
How much are Floridians willing to pay for water quality protection programs that include forest conservation? This 9-page fact sheet reports the results of a study to answer this question, using a benefit transfer approach. Written by Melissa M. Kreye, Francisco J. Escobedo, Damian C. Adams, Taylor Stein, and Tatiana Borisova, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, April 2013.
The purpose of this fact sheet is to help identify a few of the more common woody plant species found in Florida’s scrub ecosystems. In the individual plant descriptions, words that appear in bold font are considered to be key field characteristics that will aid in identification of the species. This 14-page fact sheet was written by Lynn Proenza and Michael Andreu, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, October 2012.
Identifying species found in Smilax the genus can be difficult because species resemble one another closely. One must be careful to use detailed descriptions in order to correctly identify a specimen. Smilax species are important because they can provide shelter and food for wildlife and have provided humans with medicine, food, and dyes. Twelve Smilax species are found in Florida. This 8-page fact sheet covers the nine more common species that one may encounter in the state. Written by Lynn Proenza and Michael Andreu, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, January 2013.
Thousand cankers disease of walnut is a tree disease of the edible nut-producing and ornamental tree, black walnut. The first diseased trees were observed in New Mexico in the 1990s. The disease has since spread to most of the western states. Until 2009, diseased black walnut trees were only found outside of the natural range of black walnut, which occurs from the mid-Atlantic states to just west of the Mississippi River. In 2009, it was found near Knoxville, Tennessee; it has since spread to Pennsylvania and Virginia. It is possible that within the next decade this disease could naturally spread to Florida. However, if people continue to move TCD infested walnut logs from place to place, this disease could arrive in Florida tomorrow. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Don Spence and Jason A. Smith, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, February 2013.
Native to Africa, Asia, and Australia, Old World climbing fern (OWCF) is a newcomer to Florida that has spread at an alarming rate since its introduction. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council considers Old World climbing fern to be invasive. It’s also regulated by laws of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) as a Florida Noxious Weed and by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Federal Noxious Weed. It may be the most serious threat to Florida’s natural areas. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Kenneth A. Langeland and Jeffery Hutchinson, and published by the UF Department of Agronomy, February 2013.
A result of the influx of new residents to the South is an expansion of urban areas into forests and other natural areas, creating areas referred to as the wildland-urban interface. Interface issues of most concern vary from state to state, but some key issues are consistent across the South. the US Forest Service conducted a series of focus groups in 2000. Key issues gleaned from those focus groups and other related sources are described in this 5-page fact sheet written by L. Annie Hermansen-Baez, Jennifer Seitz, and Martha C. Monroe, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, February 2013.
Tropical Soda Apple Leaf Beetle, Gratiana boliviana Spaeth (Insecta: Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) (EENY543/IN974)
Tropical soda apple is a prickly shrub native to South America that is a major problem in pastures and conservation areas. So a multi-agency program supported the rearing, distribution, and release of more than 250,000 tropical soda apple leaf beetles across Florida from 2003 to 2011. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Rodrigo Diaz, William A. Overholt, Ken Hibbard, and Julio Medal, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, January 2013.
Native to eastern and southern Asia, skunkvine is an invasive plant species introduced to the USDA Field Station near Brooksville before 1897. It has been included on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council List of Invasive Species as a Category I, defined as “species that are invading and disrupting native plant communities in Florida.” It was added to the Florida Noxious Weed List in 1999, making it illegal to possess, move, or release in Florida. This 3-page fact sheet was written by K. A. Langeland, R. K. Stocker, and D. M. Brazis, and published by the UF Department of Agronomy, February 2013.
Prized by hunters and wildlife enthusiasts alike, white-tailed deer are a popular species found throughout Florida. As such, they are often the focus of management for landowners, managers, and lessees who want to improve deer populations while maintaining other land uses such as timber production. This 2-page fact sheet provides some deer habitat improvement tips that focus primarily on raising the quality of deer forage but that also will help you grow better cover by improving plant diversity and productivity. Written by William M. Giuliano, John M. Olson, and Cailey Thomas, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, January 2013.
In Florida, changes in forest management practices during the past 50+ years have led to declines in quail habitat and populations. Important changes involve the use of fire and conversion of native forests to commercial pine plantations. A lack of fire and other disturbance has often led to closed-canopy forests with dense undergrowth that lack important quail habitat components. This 2-page fact sheet provides several quail habitat improvement tips that focus on diversifying the plant species and structural composition and increasing early successional communities dominated by herbaceous plants. Written by William M. Giuliano and Lauren Watine, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, January 2013.
Air Potato Leaf Beetle (Suggested Common Name), Lilioceris cheni Gressitt and Kimoto (Insecta: Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Criocerinae) (EENY547/IN972)
This leaf feeding beetle was recently introduced into Florida from China for biological control of air potato. This 4-page fact sheet provides information on the distribution, appearance, life cycle, host range and importance of the beetle. Written by Entomology and Nematology, and published by the UF Department of Rodrigo Diaz, William A. Overholt, and Ken Hibbard, January 2013.
Tropical soda apple is a prickly shrub native to South America. First reported in Glades Co., Florida in 1988, it later spread to Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It is a major problem in pastures and conservation areas. Negative impacts of tropical soda apple include reduction of cattle stocking rates, competition with native plants, and the costs associated with its control. Dense thickets of the weed also can disrupt the movement of wildlife. This 4-page fact sheet provides a summary of the major steps of the successful biological control program against tropical soda apple in Florida. The article covers the importance of the weed, identification and biology of the biological control agent, rearing and release efforts, establishment and impact, and efforts to communicate the outcomes of the program to stakeholders. Written by R. Diaz, J. Medal, K. Hibbard, A. Roda, A. Fox, S. Hight, P. Stansly, B. Sellers, J. Cuda and W. A. Overholt, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, November 2012.
Air potato was introduced to Florida in 1905. By the 1980s, its vines were growing in thickets, waste areas, and hedges or fencerows in many parts of south and central Florida. By 1999, it was recognized as transforming plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structure and disrupting ecological functions. The air potato leaf beetle is a rather large, orange-red Asian leaf beetle. It feeds and develops only on air potato. The USDA-ARS Invasive Plant laboratory in Fort Lauderdale acquired this beetle from China and has begun an ambitious release program aimed at controlling air potato. This 3-page fact sheet was written by T. D. Center and W. A. Overholt, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, October 2012.
Urban forests provide benefits to society often referred to as ecosystem services: they improve human health, environmental quality, and local economies by increasing property values and aesthetics in communities. They help cities control storm water, reduce air pollution and energy costs, and offset carbon dioxide emissions. But urban forests also have “ecosystem disservices.” An accurate assessment of an urban forest’s costs can assist decision makers to better understand the role the forest plays in improving the well-being of the community. Identifying how funding is used can also help communities minimize costs and increase benefits. This 4-page fact sheet will review some of the types of costs associated with urban forests and present typical financial costs associated with urban forest management in the city of Gainesville, Florida. Written by Francisco Escobedo and Jennifer Seitz, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, October 2012.
August 27th, 2012
Soils supporting southern pine stands in the South tend to be infertile and nutrient additions are often required to achieve optimum rates of production. This 12-page publication describes and classifies soils of the southeastern Coastal Plain region and specifically addresses issues of fertility, growth-limiting nutrients, and fertilizer recommendations for southern pines. Written by Eric J. Jokela and Alan J. Long, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, June 2012.
Invasive non-native organisms are one of the greatest threats to the natural ecosystems of the United States. Invasive plants reduce biodiversity, encroach on endangered and threatened species, and rob native species of habitat. This 8-page fact sheet describes many of the current methods used to manage some of the more common and troublesome invasive exotic plants in north Florida forests. Written by Chris Demers, Alan Long and Rick Williams, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, January 2012.
Urban forests, or the trees and shrubs on these land uses, play an important role in providing ecosystem services and are often key components in urban planning and management as well as in environmental regulations. This 10-page fact sheet provides information, based on an assessment of urban forests within the limits of the City of Orlando was conducted during the summer of 2010, on the structure and composition of Orlando's urban forest, the occurrence of invasive trees in the city, the ecosystem services trees provide, including estimating the mitigation of climate change effects and their role in urban hydrology, and how this information can be used to define sustainable urban planning objectives and goals. Written by Edem Empke, Elizabeth Becker, Jessica Lab, Ross Hinkle, and Francisco Escobedo, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, February 2012.
Cities are a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. This fact sheet demonstrates that urban and natural trees can help mitigate the effects of climate change somewhat by sequestering CO2 but can only sequester a small portion of all carbon dioxide emitted from cities. In addition, decomposing trees and mulch, tree maintenance activities, and improperly placed trees that cause shading in winter can also result in emissions of CO2, so it is important for communities to reduce fossil fuel emissions and manage for and preserve large, healthy trees to maximize the amount of CO2 sequestered by an urban forest. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Francisco Escobedo, Jennifer A. Seitz, and Wayne Zipperer, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, February 2012.
Based on a 2007 average retail price of electricity in Florida, trees in Gainesville are estimated to provide about $1.9 million in savings each year due to reduced air conditioning and heating use. However, trees also increase energy costs in winter by approximately $367 thousand annually because their shade cools buildings and thus raises building heating costs. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Francisco Escobedo, Jennifer A. Seitz, and Wayne Zipperer, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, February 2012.
There is no question that forests provide important ecological services and economic resources to Floridians. Similarly, there is no doubt that the health of our forests is at the mercy of how we manage our landscape and make decisions.The activities in this supplement, with the original PLT Guide, help our students rise to these twin challenges.This 84-page handbook was written by Sarah L. Hicks, Martha C. Monroe, Geetha S. Iyer, and Jason A. Smith, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, July 2011.
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