, Volume 77, Issue 3-4, pp 385-405

Rare and endangered plants and animals of southern Appalachian wetlands

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Abstract

At least one-third of the threatened and endangered species of the United States live in wetlands. Southern Appalachian bogs and fens, in particular, support a wealth of rare and unique life forms, many of which are found in no other habitat type. In North Carolina alone, nonalluvial mountain wetlands provide habitat for nearly 90 species of plants and animals that are considered rare, threatened, or endangered by the North Carolina Plant Conservation Program, the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These species include the bog turtle, mountain sweet pitcher plant, green pitcher plant, swamp pink, bunched arrowhead, and Gray's lily, all of which are either on the federal list of endangered and threatened species or under consideration for that list. Mountain wetland habitats for these species are being destroyed and degraded at an accelerating rate for highway construction and expansion and residential and recreational development, as well as for industrial and agricultural uses.