The Agricultural Research and Extension Centers are a network of 11 research centers located throughout the state that emphasize the close working relationship between the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension. “Inside the ARECs” highlights the work and accomplishments of these 11 centers and will appear in every Insights.
The Reynolds Homestead Forest Resources Research Center in Critz, Virginia, was created in 1969 to study forest biology, including genetics, physiology and soils. Specific projects include harvesting to increase forest health and productivity, site preparation, forest fertilization, loblolly pine physiology and forest herbicide testing. Facilities include 780 acres, a 2-acre pond, an historic site and laboratory, office, continuing education and greenhouse space. A new and much needed addition is an 1,800-square-foot greenhouse with more precise climate control and enough space to handle small trees.
The new greenhouse has already been used to root a set of research plants. Associate Professor Amy Brunner and Assistant Professor Jason Holliday in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment will begin a major study at the greenhouse looking at nutrient use and growth responses to daylight in black cottonwood. They will ultimately identify the gene regulatory networks that control these responses.