Spring Road Status
During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »
Partner Profile: Creating a baseline
Understanding links between stream life & hemlock forests
In the stream
Dying hemlocks: what we know about their impact on waterways
Photo courtesy of the North American Benthological Society.
Dying hemlocks in the Smokies: what’s the impact on waterways HERE?
With their baseline lists, they’ll be able to compare aquatic macroinvertebrates in healthy hemlock forests to those in dying hemlock forests, and also to notice changes in stream life over time.
They chose aquatic macroinvertebrates in particular because this group includes indicator species, which means that changes in their numbers or health indicate conditions in the stream are changing. They work well as indicator species because they require the right combination of temperature, acidity, and water clarity, among other factors, to survive. If hemlock death changes the streams, the macroinvertebrates will be the first to let us know.
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Return to Dispatches from the Field: Issue 2.
Did You Know?
There are at least 30 different species of salamanders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This gives the Smokies the distinction of having the most diverse salamander population anywhere in the world and has earned the park the nickname “Salamander Capital of the World.” More...