Winter Road Status
During winter, roads in the park may close due to snow and ice, especially at night when water from melting refreezes on roads. For road status information please call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow road 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.
Click here to read about Deciding on a research question.
Return to Dispatches from the Field: Issue 2.
Did You Know?
What lives in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Although the question sounds simple, it is actually extremely complex. Right now scientists think that we only know about 17 percent of the plants and animals that live in the park, or about 17,000 species of a probable 100,000 different organisms.