Download PDF by Steven L. Stephenson: A Natural History of the Central Appalachians

By Steven L. Stephenson

ISBN-10: 1933202688

ISBN-13: 9781933202686

Central Appalachia is the process of linear ridges, intervening valleys, and deeply dissected plateaus that make up the rugged terrain present in western and southwestern Virginia, jap and important West Virginia, western Maryland, and a component of south crucial and southwestern Pennsylvania. via its concise and available procedure, A normal background of the relevant Appalachians thoroughly examines the biology and ecology of the crops, animals, and different organisms of this sector of jap North America.
With over a hundred and twenty photographs, this article offers an outline of the panorama of this sector, together with the main alterations that experience taken position over the prior three hundred million years; describes the different sorts of forests and different plant groups at the moment found in crucial Appalachia; and examines dwelling platforms starting from microorganisms and fungi to birds and mammals. via a attention of the heritage of people within the sector, starting with the coming of the 1st local americans, A average historical past of the imperative Appalachians also discusses the prior, current, and destiny impacts of human task upon this geographic area.

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Additional resources for A Natural History of the Central Appalachians

Sample text

On clear, calm nights, especially during the spring and fall, the layer of air next to the ground on a ridgetop becomes colder than the air above it. Under the influence of gravity, this colder air moves (“flows”) down slope and accumulates on the floor of the adjacent valley. This phenomenon (called “cold air drainage”) can lower temperatures on the valley floor by several degrees, so much so that the valley floor can be cooler than the ridgetops of surrounding mountains. In this situation the valley floor is characterized by appreciably lower temperature than would be accounted for by either topographic position or elevation alone.

These rocks are extensively exposed on the floor of the Shenandoah Valley in central and northern Virginia. The various periods of the Paleozoic from the Cambrian until the early Devonian are represented by sedimentary rock layers that can be found at numerous places throughout the Ridge and Valley and Appalachian Plateau. When these layers can be observed directly, as when they appear as natural rock outcrops or have been exposed by road cuts, it can be quite evident that they contain fossils, usually those of organisms that lived in the shallow tropical sea mentioned above.

Blue jays and other birds are known to carry acorns a considerable distance, sometimes a mile or more. More importantly, tree species such as black cherry and serviceberry produce small, fleshy fruits that contain small seeds, which can pass through the digestive tract of birds unharmed. When the fruits are fed upon by birds, it is quite possible for the seeds to be transported over several miles. It is not surprising that the species of trees consistently associated with treefall gaps and similar situations in which the forest canopy has been disturbed are those with a high dispersal potential.

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A Natural History of the Central Appalachians by Steven L. Stephenson


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