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?
More than 240 species of birds have been found in the park. Sixty species are year-round residents. Nearly 120 species breed in the park, including 52 species from the neo-tropics. Many other species use the park as an important stopover and foraging area during their semiannual migration. More...