Nature & Science
Geodiversity Increases Biodiversity
Oregon Caves is located within the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains, a bioregion containing among the country’s highest biodiversities of vascular plants (~3,800) and animals (~50,000), more than many tropics! Per acre, the Monument’s ~500 plants, ~5,000 animals, ~2,000 fungi, and over a million bacteria are among the highest anywhere.
The high rate of biodiversity is due to the diverse temperatures, moisture regimes, climates, bedrock, and productivity. Such habitat diversity favors biodiversity.
The region’s caves, cliffs, streams, springs, and serpentinite and granitic rocks seem to be just the right size for diversity--not so large that species can’t speciate from isolation but not too small that extinction is high or migrants can’t find it.
Did You Know?
Up until 1922 the only way to get to Oregon Caves was on a 12 mile trail from the town of Williams, Oregon. Once at Oregon Caves visitors explored the cave and spent the night at a camp outside the entrance to the cave.