The Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains, represent one of the largest regions of biodiversity in North America. Many taxa are endemic to this area. During the past several years an effort has been made to enumerate all life forms within the Park -- the Smokies All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI). The Division of Molluscs at OSU surveyed the molluscs for the ATBI from 2000-2005.

Year 2000 marked our first collecting season. In conjunction with scientists from American Electric Power Service Corporation, Clemson University, the Kentucky Forest Service, and Park personnel, we made collections from numerous sites within the Park, including permanent monitoring stations. Our efforts were concentrated in the higher elevation beech forests, which are quickly succumbing to an insect-born disease. The 2001 season was concentrated in the little-studied eastern edge of the Park. In 2002 we received a grant from Discover Life in America to survey the Park for two weeks and process leaf litter samples. Over 160 leaf samples were collected during that time. 2005 marked our sixth year in the survey.

Links to this project may be found at:

Discover Life in America
Great Smoky Mountains National Park