Biodiversity: Appalachian Mountains

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This paper will discuss the biodiversity of the Appalachian Mountains. The paper states some of the most common species found in this biodiversity.  Full classifications of two major species found in this ecosystem are also given.

Definition of Biodiversity

Biodiversity can be defined as the variety of the species, genomic constitution and their natural or regular communities that they exist. This includes the innate animals and plants in the area and all the related process that sustain life in the area. Biodiversity is beneficial as it is the one that supports life. Thus, biodiversity is indispensable in sustenance of life. Studying biodiversity helps people to have a better understanding of their environment (Daniel, 2009).

Chosen Area

This paper will look at the biodiversity of the Appalachian Mountains. The natural history of the Appalachian Mountains is that they formed during the Paleozoic. Over time, the mountain peaks have reduced from 5000m, 350 million years ago to the current height of 2000m. The Appalachians are divided into the northern and southern biotas with their northern biota still recovering from the effects of the ice age. The southern Biota was never glaciated, and the rich biota still exists (Boone, 1994).

The physical description of the Southern Appalachians is it consists the high mountain region that arrays just about Mount Rogers and  Mount Whitetop  in the north,  then moves to the Great Smoky Mountains to the southern ridge of the Blue Ridge, and east to Mount Mitchell in the Black Mountains. This region is defined by temperate climates. The climate in the southern Appalachians is humid subtropical, with hot summers at low levels and warm summers at the top. Winter is cold at the high altitudes and cool at the low altitudes. Geologically, the Appalachians consist of a number of folded forms, and thrust formed faulted ranges, from sedimentary and also volcanic rocks that were formed over the long period of their existence (Boone,1994).

How Diversity is organized

The diversity of the southern Appalachians is one of the richest in the world. The plant and animal kingdoms are well represented in this biodiversity. Through varied climate, topography, and glacial occurrences, the diversity has developed into one of the world’s richest offering scientists and admirers a broad perspective into the natural history of the world.  Some of the common large animals in the area include Elks, moose and black bears. These species are found in the north. Bobcats, coyotes, and beaver are also common in the north of the Appalachians. Wild boars and Elks are found in some areas like the Great Smoky Mountains (Boone, 1994).

Small animals include squirrels, raccoons, fox, porcupines, mink and muskrat, salamanders, lizards and snakes. Fish in some of the streams in the area include bass, catfish, and bream. Salamanders are the biggest attractions and some of the most scientifically researched animals I the area. Salamanders belong to the kingdom Animalia, the phylum Chordata, Class Amphibians, and the Caudata order. There are many species of Amphibians but the most common are from the family salamandridae and the genus Taricha. The diversity of birds in the area includes more than 200 species. The most important of this family include whippoorwills, song birds, turkey, grouse, falcons and hawks (Daniel, 2009).

The plant diversity in the Appalachian ecosystem is one of the richest. With more millions of species from the plant kingdom, the Appalachian has one of the richest diversity as it runs from the north to the south of North America. The most common trees found in the forests of the Appalachians are mixed deciduous. The most common of this group are oaks, hickories, maples and beech trees. On the northern side of the mountains, the most common trees are spruces and firs. The south has ash, magnolia, tulip trees and basswood. Thousands of wildflowers species exist along the Appalachian ranges (Boone, 1994).

The oak tree species come from the kingdom plantae, the Division of this plants is  Magnoliophyta. Its Class is the Magnoliopsida. The oak tree belongs to the Order Fagales and the Family of  Fagaceae. The Genus of this specie is Quercus. This is how most plant kingdom species of the area can be classified (Daniel, 2009). 

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