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Appalachian/Blue Ridge Forests (WWF ecoregion NA0403) View National Geographic WildWorld profile,(WildWorld home), View  WWF Wildfinder animal species list (WildFinder home)

Dead Fraiser firs at Clingman's Dome, Great Smoky Mts. Ntl. Park, Tennessee
Dead Fraiser firs (
Abes fraseri) at Clingman's Dome, Great Smoky Mts. Ntl. Park, east Tennessee (c) 2002 Steven J. Baskauf


Source of bioregions data: Olson, D. M. and E. Dinerstein. The Global 200: Priority ecoregions for global conservation. (PDF file) Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 89:125-126.

Distinctiveness (1=highest,4=lowest): 1 (globally outstanding)
The second most diverse temperate broadleaf forest on earth, including 158 tree species, 1400 species of spring-blooming herbaceous plants, and 34 species of salamanders. Along with the Appalachian Mixed Mesophytic Forests it has the highest total number of endemic flora and fauna species in North America.  The varying elevation and long-term geological stability has contributed to the great diversity.*

Conservation Status (1=most endangered, 5=most intact): 3 (vulnerable)
17% unaltered habitat.  A few large blocks of unlogged forest remain in the Great Smoky Mountains region.  Logging has reduced diversity. The dominant American chestnut has been nearly extirpated by a fungal blight and mature Fraiser firs have been nearly eliminated from high-elevation forests by an introduced insect, the balsam wooly adelgid.  Air pollution, mineral extraction, and development threaten the region.*

haze resulting from air pollution, Great Smoky Mts. Ntl. Park, east Tennessee (c) 2002 Steven J. Baskauf  hires

Characteristic species*
salamander species
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip-tree or tulip poplar)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Picea rubens (red spruce)
Abes fraseri (Fraser fir)
 
Abes balsamea (balsam fir)
 
Carya species
Quercus rubra (northern red oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak) 
Quercus species
 
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Betula species
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Pinus species

Tree species of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Associated habitats
In this ecoregion, differences in elevation produce varying habitats.  At higher elevations, habitats typical of more northerly latitudes are found.


cove hardwood forest (left: logged, right: old growth), Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, Great Smoky Mts. Ntl. Park, east Tennessee (c) 2002 Steven J. Baskauf  hires hires
Typical woody species: Aesculus flava (yellow buckeye), Acer saccharum  (sugar maple), Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch), Fagus grandifolia (American beech), Halesia tetraptera (mountain silverbell), Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet gum), Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip-tree or tulip poplar), Prunus serotina (black cherry), Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust), Tilia americana (basswood), Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)


hemlock forest, Trillium Gap Trail, Great Smoky Mts. Ntl. Park, east Tennessee (c) 2002 Steven J. Baskauf  hires
Typical woody species: Halesia tetraptera (mountain silverbell), Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron), Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)


rhododendron thicket, Great Smoky Mts. Ntl. Park, east Tennessee (c) 2002 Steven J. Baskauf  hires
Typical woody species: Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel), Leucothoe fontanesiana (dog hobble), Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba rhododendron), Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)


northern hardwood forest, Great Smoky Mts. Ntl. Park, east Tennessee (c) 2002 Steven J. Baskauf  hires
Typical woody species: Acer spicatum (mountain maple), Aesculus flava (yellow buckeye), Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch), Fagus grandifolia (American beech), pin cherry, hobblebush


spruce-fir forest, Clingman's Dome, Great Smoky Mts. Ntl. Park, east Tennessee (c) 2002 Steven J. Baskauf  hires hires hires
Typical woody species: Abes fraseri (Fraser fir), Picea rubens (red spruce), Sorbus americana (mountain ash)


heath bald,
Allegheny Mountains, West Virginia  (c) 2004 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires


dry slope,
Lehigh Gorge State Park, Pennsylvania  (c) 2005  Daniel P. Duran  hires

* Ricketts, T.H., E. Dinerstein, D.M. Olson, C.J. Loucks, et al.  (1999) Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: A Conservation Assessment.  World Wildlife Fund - United States and Canada.  Island Press, Washington, D.C. pp. 182-186.

Except as noted, images copyright 2002-2004 Steve Baskauf - Terms of use