Wildlife in Appalachia

Eons ago, an extraordinary combination of geological forces lifted, folded, grinded, and then disected what is now known as Central Appalachia, or Katuah to use the Cherokee title.  The resulting physiography was so rough and diverse that it became a hotbed for new species. Steep canyons isolated organisms that developed their own way. Moist hollows, high plateaus, dry slopes, and marshy bottomlands allowed for the development of a myriad of habitats and niches. According to worldwildlife.org, the Katuah bioregion (termed “mixed mesophytic” by the ecologists), “represents one of the most biologically diverse temperate regions of the world. Forest communities often support more than 30 canopy tree species at a single site, and rich understories of ferns, fungi, perennial and annual herbaceous plants, shrubs, small trees, and diverse animal communities. Songbirds, salamanders, land snails, and beetles are examples of some particularly diverse taxa. Indeed, the ecoregion harbors some of the richest and most endemic land snail, amphibian, and herbaceous plant biotas in the U.S. and Canada. The ecoregion’s freshwater communities are the richest temperate freshwater ecosystems in the world, with globally high richness and endemism in mussels, fish, crayfish, and other invertebrates.”

Today, the wildness and wonderfulness of Katuah is being undermined (overmined to be exact). Mountain top removal mining has permanently degraded the aesthetics and texturity of the ancient Appalachia Mountains. Almost 750,000 acres of Appalachia have been destroyed by the coal industry. Strip-mining blasts away the tops (sometimes the top 3rd or even half) of Katuah’s hills. The overburden (the industry’s term for the removed mountain) is dumped into surrounding hollers.  It is believed that Katuah’s deep coves harbored enough diversity during the last major ice age to “reseed” the Mid-West and East. With the hollers disappearing, perhaps the world won’t be so lucky after the next climate catastrophy.

As the peaks are lowered and the valleys are risen, the rugged terrain is transformed into an awkward plateau. Because topsoil and even watertables are destroyed, the altered landscapes remain barren. Only lespidesia, an imported grass from Asia, can thrive. Thus, most strip-sites are lime green grasslands, forever devoid of hardwood deciduous forests.

As can be expected, mountain top removal has taken a devastating toll on the region’s wild animals. Bears are often burried alive during the creation of valley fills–these are hollows filled with former mountains. I have heard in person Ed Wiley, a former strip-miner, recall in tears an occasion when his boss forced him to cover a din while baby cubs tried to escape (you can hear his testimony on YouTube-search Ed Wiley). The Cerulean Warbler, a charming songbird and favorite to many birders, can only breed in the type of understory that MTR permanently destroys. Even the U.S. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries cite strip-mining as the reason for its “threatened” status.  Furthermore, the Indiana Bat, an endangered species (6 species of bats live in southern wva) hibernates under the bark of hickory trees. The Coal Industry must “prove” that mining will not destroy the bat’s habitat. Over the summer, I was looking at permits at the Logan Department of Environmental Protection and struck up a conversation with the man standing next to me. After exhalting the coal industry for a few minutes, he told me his job was to confirm the absence of the Indiana bat in permitted areas so that mining could begin. It turns out he works for a private company that is contracted by the coal industry to do the job. As I left the office, I noticed that the vehicle with his company’s insignia had a “Friends of Coal” decal on the back windshield.

The razing of habitats, burying of streams, and poisoning of the environment has all but ruined the homes of ancient creatures: plants, animals, and humans alike.

 [The following article and survey from www.asecular.com/forests accentuate what is being lost. Please help stop the madness before all is lost…]

Ecology of Chief Logan State Park, Logan County, West Virginia

With a Dedication to the Opponents of Mountain Top Removal / Valley Fill Mining
Logan State Park lies in the heart of Coal Country and thus is emblematic of the ecosystems at risk and presently being destroyed by Mountain Top Removal/Valley Fill Mining. MTR/VF Mining is one the most far-reaching types of environmental abuses. It not only utterly destroys mountain and valley habitats in headwater regions of streams, but, to varying degrees, degrades streams and their valleys to their points of discharge into the seas-and by extension, the seas as well. The Chief Logan State Park not only is typical of the coal country ecosystems, but also falls in the Mixed Mesophyte Forest Region as defined by the noted ecologist Lucy Braun (1950). And the Mixed Mesophyte is among the most biologically rich and diverse temperate forests on Earth. With this background, it was thought desirable to present the following specific inventories to show in detail part of what is being lost.
Virginians for Wilderness dedicates this work to the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Coal River Mountain Watch (see their Web Sites) and all those fighting Mountain Top Removal / Valley Fill Mining.
R. F. Mueller
Virginians for Wilderness
As we posted this survey, we learned that the Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. wants to put nearly three-dozen new natural gas wells inside Chief Logan State Park. (Sunday, 11-18-07, Gazette-Mail, Charleston, West Virginia). Both Cabot (phone 304-347-1600) and Governor Manchin of West Virginia need to hear of our opposition to this proposal.
R. F. Mueller
The following is the report of a survey by Dr. Robert Hunsucker conducted on 8-27-31-07
Native Vascular Taxa in order of life form
Canopy-sized Trees
Juglans nigra (Black Walnut) -frequent
Juglans cinerea (Butternut) -occasional
Carya tomentosa (Mockernut Hickory) -frequent
Carya glabra (Pignut Hickory) -frequent
Carya ovalis (Red Hickory) -occasional to frequent
Carya ovata (Shagbark Hickory) -occasional to frequent
Carya cordiformis (Bitternut Hickory) -frequent
Betula lenta (Black Birch) -common
Fagus grandifolia (American Beech) -common
Quercus alba (White Oak) -frequent
Quercus muhlenbergii (Chinquapin Oak) -locally frequent
Quercus velutina (Black Oak) -frequent
Quercus rubra (Northern Red Oak) -frequent
Quercus coccinia (Scarlet Oak) -frequent
Quercus prinus (Chestnut Oak) -frequent
Ulmus americana (American Elm) -frequent
Ulmus rubra (Slippery Elm) -frequent locally
Celtis occidentalis (Hackberry) -infrequent
Magnolia tripetala (Umbrella Tree) -infrequent
Magnolia acuminata (Cucumbertree) -common
Lireodendron tulipifera (Tuliptree) -common
Sassafras albidum (Sassafras) -frequent
Platanus occidentalis (Sycamore) -frequent to common
Prunus serotina (Black Cherry) -uncommon to frequent
Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust) -infrequent to frequent
Acer negundo (Boxelder) -infrequent
Acer rubrum (Red Maple) -common
Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) -common
Acer nigrum (Black Maple) -locally occasional
Tilia americana var. americana (American Basswood) -frequent
Tillia americana var. heterophylla (White Basswood) -frequent
Nyssa sylvatica (Black Gum) -common
Aesculus octandra (Yellow Buckeye) -common
Fraxinus americana (White Ash) -common
Small Trees and Shrubs
Salix nigra (Black Willow) -frequent
Ostrya virginiana (Hophornbeam) -occasional to frequent
Carpinus caroliniana (Muscletree) -frequent
Crataegus sp. (uid. hawthorn) -deer browsed low plant; infrequent
Cercis canadensis (Redbud)-occasional to frequent
Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) -frequent; didn’t see any that were healthy; many diseased, dying or dead
Oxydendron arboreum (Sourwood) -common
Salix sericea (Silky Willow) -infrequent
Corylus americana (Hazelnut) -infrequent to locally several
Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder) -frequent along streams
Asimina triloba (Paw Paw) -common in mesic woods
Hydrangea arborescens (Wild Hydrangea) -Occasional to frequent
Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) -locally frequent
Rubus occidentalis (Black Raspberry) -occasional to locally numerous
Rubus appalachiensis (Appalachian Blackberry) -occasional to locally numerous
Amorpha fruticosa (False Indigo) -infrequent
Amelanchier arborea (Downy Serviceberry) -uncommon to frequent
Rhus typhina (Staghorn Sumac) -frequent in openings and borders
Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule ( St. Andrew’s Cross) -infrequent
Euonymus americanus (Strawberry Bush) -infrequent
Staphylea trifolia (Bladdernut) -infrequent
Cornus amomum (Silky Cornel) -occasional
Rhododendron periclymenoides (Pink Azalea) -infrequent
Gaylussacia baccata (Black Huckleberry) -occasional
Sambucus canadensis (Black Elderberry) -infrequent
Epigaea repens (Trailing Arbutus)
Smilax glauca (Saw Brier) -frequent
Smilax rotundifolia (Common Greenbrier) -occasional to frequent
Smilax bona-nox (Saw Greenbrier) -occasional
Smilax tamnoides (Hispid Greenbrier) -occasional
Rhus radicans (poison Ivy) -frequent
Vitis vulpina (Winter Grape) -occasional
Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape) -frequent
Pathenocissus quinquefolius (Virginia Creeper) -frequent
Bignonia capreolata (Cross Vine) -occasional
Equisetum arvense (Common Horsetail) -locally several
Selaginella apoda (Meadow Spikemoss) -infrequent
Lycopodium digitatum (Ground Pine) -locally several
Botrychium virginianum (Rattlesnake Fern) -infrequent
Botrychium dissectum ( Cut-leaf Grape Fern) -frequent in a mowed lawn
Opioglossum vulgatum (Adder’s Tongue) -uncommon
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern) -frequent
Osmunda claytoniana (Interrupted Fern) -local to scattered
Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern) -infrequent
Osmunda cinnamomea (Cinnamon Fern) -frequent
Woodsia obtusa (Blunt-lobed Woodsia) -infrequent on rocky cliffs
Onoclea sensibilis (Sensitive Fern) -frequent
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York Fern) -frequent
Dryopteris goldiana (Goldie’s Shield Fern) =infrequent
Dryopteris hexagonoptera (Beech Fern) -occasional
Dropteris marginalis (Marginal Shield Fern) -infrequent
Dryopteris intermedia (Intermediate Shield Fern) -frequent
Dryopteris campyloptera (Mountain Woodfern) -occasional
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (Hay-scented Fern) -locally frequent to scattered
Adianthum pedatum (Maidenhair Fern) -frequent to infrequent
Athyrium filiz-femina var asplenioides (Southern Lady Fern) -frequent
Athyrium thelypteroides (Silvery Athyrium) common
Asplenium ruta muraria (Rue Spleenwort) -rare; moist, rocky cliff
Asplenium platyneuron (Ebony Spleenwort) -occasional
Asplenium rhizophyllum (Western Moonwort) -infrequent
Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken Fern) -in upland open area
Typha latifolia (Broad-leaf Cattail) -locally common
Digitaria sanguinalis (Crabgrass) -frequent, ruderal
Andropogon virginicus (Broomsedge) -frequent in old fields
Andropogon scoparius (Little Bluestem) -frequent in old fields
Paspalum laeve (Smooth Paspalum) -frequend; ruderal
Paspalum pubiflorum (Hairy-seed Paspalum) -infrequent; ruderal Paspalum setaceum (Thin Paspalum) -infrequent
Panicum capillare (Old Witch Grass) -locally frequent
Panicum lanuginosum var. lanuginosum ( Hairy Panic Grass)-frequent
Panicum lanuginosum var. lindheimeri (Hairy Panic Grass) -frequent locally
Panicum latifolium (Broad-leaf Panic Grass) -occasional
Panicum boscii (Bosc’s Panic Grass) -fairly common
Panicum ashei ( Ashe’s Panic Grass) -occasional
Panicum clandestinum (Deer-tongue Grass) -locally common
Panicum anceps (Flat-stemmed Panic Grass) occasional; ruderal
Panicum dichotomiflorum (Spreading Witch Grass) -infrequent, ruderal
Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass) -occasional, ruderal
Panicum polyanthes (Many-flowered Panic Grass) -infrequent
Panicum laxiflorum (Pale Green Panic Grass) -infreqwuent
Panicum villosissimum (White-haired Panic Grass) -infrequent
Panicum commutatum (Variable Panic Grass) -frequent
Sertaria geniculata (Foxtail) -frequent around lake;ruderal
Leersia oryzoides (Rice Cutgrass) -locally common
Leersia virginica (White Grass) -frequent
Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canary Grass) -frequent locally
Brachyelytrum erectum (Bearded Shorthusk) -frequent in dry woods
Agrostis perennans (Autumn Bent Grass) -frequent
Cinna arundinacea (Wood Reed Grass) -frequent
Sphenopholis intermedia (Slender Wedge Grass) -occasional
Festuca obtusa (Nodding Fescue) -occaional
Festuca rubra ( Red Fescue) -frequent locally to scattered
Diarrhena obovata (Twin Grass) -frequent; mesic woods
Eragrostis pectinacea var pectinacea (Lace Grass) -occasional; ruderal
Poa sylvestris (Sylvan Bluegrass) -infrequent
Poa cuspidata (Short-leaved Bluegrass) -occasional
Tridens flavus (Purpletop) -frequent in old fields
Bromus pubescens (Canada Brome Grass) -locally several
Elymus virginicus ( Virginia Wild Rye) -infrequent
Elymus hystrix (Bottlebrush Grass) -occasional to frequent
Elymus villosus (Hairy Wild Rye) -occasional to frequent
Elymus riparius (Riparian Wild Rye) -frequent
Muhlenbergia frondosa (Wire-stem Muhly) -occasional along roads
Muhlenbergia tenuiflora (Slender-flowered Muhly) -frequent
Mulenbergia schreberi (Nimblewill) -ruderal
Muhlenbergia sylvatica (Woodland Muhly) -infrequent
Arundinaria gigantea (Giant Cane) -infrequent
Cyperus flavescens-infrequent
Cyperus strigosus-frequent in open moist areas
Cyperus tenuifolius-infrequent
Fimbristylis autumnalis-infrequent
Eleocharis tenuis (Kill Cow) -locally numerous
Eleocharis acicularis (Needle Spikerush) -locally numerous
Eleocharis ovata (Ovate Spikerush) -locally numerous
Arisaema triphyllum (Indian Turnip -frequent
Scirpus atrovirens-frequent
Scirpus cyperinus-frequent
Scirpus polyphyllus-frequent
Scirpus pendulus-occasional
Scirpus lineatus-occasional
Carex laxiflora-occasional
Carex blanda-ocasional
Carex rosea-frequent
Carex debilis-frequent
Carex vulpinoidea-ferquent
Carex lurida-frequent
Carex plantaginea-frequent
Carex platyphylla-infrequent
Carex pennsylvanica-occasional
Carex scoparia-occasional
Carex laevivaginata-occasional
Carex intumescens-occasional
Carex typhina-occasional
Carex frankii-occasional
Carex gynandra-occasional
Carex cephalophora-occasional
Carex amphibola-infrequent
Juncus tenuis var. tenuis-frequent; ruderal
Juncus acuminatus
Juncus marginatus
Juncus effusus
Luzula acuminata (Hairy Woodrush) -occasional
Luzula echinata (a woodrush) -occasional
Uvularia sessilifolia (Sessile-leaf Bellwort) -occasional
Uvularia pudica (Mountain Bellwort) -occasional
Uvularia perfoiata (Mealy Bellwort) –
Allium tricoccum (Ramp) -occasional
Smilacina racemosa (Plume Lily) -infrequent
Clintonia umbellulata (White Clintonia) -infrequent
Polgonatum pubescens (Downy Many Knees) -infrequent
Smilax herbacea var. herbacea (Carrion Flower) -infrequent
Disporum lanuginosum (Hairy Disporum) -occasional
Trillium erectum (Wake Robin) -frequent
Trillium grandiflorum (Large-flowered Trillium) -frequent locally
Dioscorea quaternata (Four-leaved Yam) -infrequent
Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Blue-eyed Grass) -infrequent
Iris cristata (Crested Dwarf Iris) -locally several
Cypripedium calceolus (Yellow Ladyslipper) -rare
Goodyera pubescens (Downy Rattlesnake Plantain) -locally several
Aplectrum hyemale (Puttyroot) -infrequent
Tipularia discolor (Cranefly Orchid) -infrequent
Laportea canadensis (Wood Nettle) -locally common to frequent
Boehmeria cylindrica (False Nettle) -common
Pilea pumila (Clearweed) -common
Aristolochia serpentaria (Virginia Snakeroot) -occasional
Polygonum virginianum (Virginia Knotweed) -frequent
Polygonum punctatum (Water Smartweed) -common
Polygonum sagittatum (Arrowleaf Tearthumb) -frequent
Polygonum scandens var. cristatum (Climbing False Buckwheat) -frequent-
Phytolacca americana (Poke) -frequent along roads; ruderal
Claytonia caroliniana (Carolina Spring Beauty) -a few remnants of plants in, rich woods 354
Paronychia canadensis (Smooth Forked Chickweed) –
Stellaria pubera (Great Chickweed) -frequent
Silene stellata (Stary Campion) -infrequent
Ranunculus hispidus (Hispid Buttercup) -infrequent
Ranunculus recurvatus (Hooked Buttercup) -frequent
Ranunculus abortivus (Kidney-leaf Crowfoot) -occasional; open woods; ruderal
Thalictrum coriaceum (Leather-leaf Meadowrue) -infrequent in open woods Thalictrum pubescens (Tall Meadowrue) -frequent in open areas
Hepatica acutiloba (Sharplobe Hepatica) -local; infrequent
Hepatica americana (Roun-lobe Hepatica) -frequent; ruderal
Anemone quinquefolia (Windflower) -frequent
Aquilegia canadensis (Wild Columbine) -occasional
Aconitum uncinatum (Blue Monk’s Hood) -uncommon
Dephinium tricorne (Dwarf Larkspur)
Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal) -locally several (~50 plants)
Podophylum peltatum (May Apple) -locally several
Caulophyllum thalictroides (Blue Cohosh)-occasional
Menispermum canadense (Canada Moonseed)-infrequen; local
Stylophorum diphyllum (Celandine Poppy)-infrequent
Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot) -occasional
Dicentra eximia (Wild Bleeding Heart)-infrequent
Lepidium virginicum (Wild Pepper Grass)-occasional; ruderal
Dentaria diphylla (Two-leaved Toothwort)-infrequent
Cardamine pennsylvanica (Pennsylvania Bittercress)-occasional
Arabis laevigata (Smooth Rockcress) -occasional
Sedum ternatum (Wild Stonecrop) -locally several
Saxifraga virginiensis (Early Saxifrage)-infrequent
Tiarella cordifolia (Foamflower) -frequent in moist rocky places along streams
Heuchera americana (Alumroot) -occasional
Mitella diphylla (Miterwort) -occasional
Fragaria virginiana (Virginia Strawberry)-locally several
Geum canadense (White Avens) -occasional
Amphicarpa bracteata (Hog Peanut) -locally common to frequent
Cassia nictitans (Wild Sensitive Plant) -infrequent; ruderal
Desmodiu paniculatum (Panicled Tick-trefoil)-frequent in open areas
Desmodium nudiflorum (Naked-flowered Tick-trefoil)-occasional
Desmodium perplxum (Perplexed Tick-trefoil)-occasional
Lespedeza intermedia (a bushclover) -occasional
Vicia caroliniana (Wild Vetch) -infrequent
Linum virginianum (Virginia Yellow Flax)-infrequent
Geranium maculatum (Wild Geranium)-occasional
Euphorbia maculata (Spotted Spurge) –
Euphorbia humistrata (Spreading Spurge) –
Oxalis sticta (Upright Yellow Wood Sorrel)-frequent
Polygala paucifolia (Gaywings) -infrequent
Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seededf Mercury)-frequent
Impatiens capensis (Spotted Jewelweed) -locally common
Impatiens pallida (Pale Jewelweed) -locally common
Viola cuculata (Marsh Blue Violet)-occasional
Viola hastata (Halberd-leaf Yellow Violet)-occasional
Viola rotundifolia (Round-leaf Violet)-frequent
Viola fimbriatula (Ovate-leaved Violet)-occasional on dry banks
Viola pubescens var. pubescens (Downy Yellow Violet) -occasional
Viola blanda (Sweet White Violet) -frequent
Viola striata (Striped Violet) -locally several
Viola palmata (Palmate-leaved Violet -occasional
Viola rostrata ( Long-spurred Violet) -infrequent
Ludwigia alternifolia (Seedbox) -infrequent
Ludwigia palustris (Marsh Purslane) -frequent in wet soil and mud bordering lake, marshy area
Epilobium coloratum (Purple-leaved Willowherb)-occasional
Oenothera biennis (Common Evening Primrose)-locally several
Gaura biennis (Gaura) -locally several
Circaea lutitiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)-occasional to frequent
Aralia racemosa (American Spikenard)-uncommon
Panax quinquefolius (American Ginseng)-uncommon
Hydrocotyle americana (American Water Pennywort)-locally abundant in open wet areas
Sanicula canadensis (Black Snakeroot) -frequent
Zizia aptera (Golden Alexanders) -infrequent
Cryptotaenia canadensis (Honewort)-occasional
Cicuta maculata ( Water Hemlock) -infrequent
Thaspium barbinode (Hairy Jointed Meadow Parsnip)-infrequent
Thaspiu trifoliatum (Woodland Meadow Parsnip)-infrequent
Monotropa uniflora (Indian Pipe) -occasional
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian Hemp) -frequent; ruderal
Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) -uncommon to common
Ipomoea lacunosa (Small-flowered Morning Glory)-infrequent; ruderal
Cuscuta pentagona (Five-angled Dodder) -locally several-
Phlox divaricata (Wild Blue Phlox) -locally several
Hydrophyllum virginianum (Virginia Waterleaf) -occasional
Cynoglossum virginianum (Wild Comfrey) -infrequent (a single plant noted)
Verbena urticifolia (White Vervain)-occasional
Hackelia virginiana (Stickseed) -infrequent
Lycopus uniflorus (Northern Bugleweed) -frequent
Pycnanthemum pycnanthemoides (Southern Mountain Mint) -occasional to frequent
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (Small-leaved Mountain Mint) -locl; frequent in old fields
Monarda clinopodia (Basil Balm) -occasional
Solanum carolinense (Horse Nettle)-occasional
Gratiola neglecta (Clammy Hedge Hyssop) -locally several in mud
Mimulus ringens (Common Monkey Flower)-frequent
Lindernia dubia (False Pimpernel) -locally numerous
Pedicularis canadensis (Wood Betony)-occasional
Conopholis americana (Cancerroot) -occasional under oaks
Epifagus virginiana (Beech Drops) -occasionally frequent under Beech
Plantago rugelii (Common Plantain) -frequent; ruderal
Scutellaria ovata var. ovata (Heart-leaved Skullcap) -frequent
Galium lanceolatum (Lanceleaf Wild Licorice)-occasional
Galium triflorum ( Sweet-scented Bedstraw)-frequent
Galium circaezans (Wild Licorice) -frequent
Cunila origanoides (Dittany) -locally frequent
Mitchella repens (Partridge Berry) -occasional
Houstonia caerulea (Bluets) -occasional to frequent
Houstonia angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Houstonia)-occasional
Campanula americana (Tall Bellflower) -occasional
Lobelia inflata ( Indian Tobacco) -frequent; ruderal
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower) -occasional
Lobelia syphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)-occasional
Elyphantopus carolinianus (Elephant’s Foot)-frequent in open areas
Vernonia gigantea (Tall Ironweed) -occasional; ruderal
Erigeron pulchellus (Robin’s Plantain) -locally several
Erigeron annuus (Daisy Fleabane) -frequent
Erigeron strigosus (Whitetop) -frequent
Erigeron philadelphicus (Philadelphia Fleabane)-frequent
Xanthium strumarium (Cocklebur) -infrequent; ruderal
Ambrosia artemissifolia (Common Ragweed) -common
Ambrosia trifida (Giant Ragweed) -occasional
Eclipta alba (“Herb of Stumps”)-infrequent around lake
Verbesina alternifolia (Wingstem) -common
Bidens spp. (unid. Beggar Ticks) -not in flower
Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) -native?; frequent
Cacalia atriplicifolia (Indian Plantain)-infrequent
Erechtites hieracifolia ( Fireweed) -frequent; ruderal
Senecio obovatus (Squaw Weed) -occasional
Senecio aureus (Golden Ragwort) -frequent
Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce) -frequent in open woods; ruderal
Hieracium paniculatum (Panicled Hawkweed)-occasional
Solidago spp. (unid. goldenrods) – not in flower
Solidago gigantea (Late Goldenrod) -common in openings
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (Canada Goldenrod) -common in openings
Solidago flexicaulis (Broad-leaf Goldenrod)-occasional
Solidago curtisii ( Curtis’ Goldenrod) -occasional to frequent
Aster lateriflorus (Calico Aster) -frequent
Aster lateriflorus var. simplex (Calico Aster)-locally several
Aster pilosa (Frost Aster) -occasional; ruderal
Aster divaricatus (White Wood Aster) -frequent
Aster prenanthoides (Crooked-stem Aster)-frequent in wet open areas
Eupatorium fistulosum (Hollow Joe-pye Weed)-frequent
Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset) -occasional
Eupatorium serotinum (Late-flowering Boneset)-frequent
Eupatorium caelestinum (Blue Boneset) -infrequent
Eupatorium rugosum ( White Snakeroot)-frequent
Amblystegium serpens
Amblystegium tenax-moist rocky ledge in mesic forest
Amblystegium varium-on soil, rocks, bases of trees in mesic forest
Anomodon attenuatus-on bases of trees in mesic hardwood forest
Anomodon rostratus-on humus and soil in mesic forest
Atrichum undulatum-on moist soil in mesic forest
Brachythecium oxycladon
Brachythecium rivulare-on moist and wet humic soil and rocks in seepage area along stream in mesic forest
Bryhnia graminifolia-on moist stream banks in mesic forest
Bryhnia novae-angliae-on wet soil and rocks along small stream
Bryoandersonia illecebra-on humic soil and rotting wood, base of trees in mesic forest
Clasmatodon parvulus-on bark of trees in mesic forest
Climacium americanum-on moist soil in open areas; eg. mowed lawn, moist woods
Dicranella sp.-on soil of road bank in forest
Dicranum flagellare-on rotting down boles in mesic forest
Dicranum fulvum-on sandstone boulder
Dicranum montanum-on tree bark in mesic forest
Dicranum scoparium-on humic soil in mesic forest
Dicranum viride-on tree bark in mesic forest
Entodon cladorrhizans
Eurhynchium hians-on moist soil in mesic forest
Fissidens bushii-on soil in mesic forest and on road bank
Fontinalis novae-angliae-attached to wood, submerged in slowly flowing stream
Forsstromea trichomitria-on tree trunks in mesic forest
Grimmia apocarpa (columella attached to operculum) -on dry boulder in mesic forest
Haplohymenium triste
Hedwigia ciliata-on sandstone boulders in mesic forest
Homalotheciella subcappilata-on bark at base of trees in mesic forests
Homomallium aduatum-on moist sandstone in mesic cove (holow) forest
Hypnum curvifolium-on rotting down boles, bases of trees, rocky cliffs in mesic forest
Hypnum pallescens-on bases of trees in mesic forest
Isopterygiopsis muelleriana-on ~vertical sandstone cliff in mesic forest
Isopterygium distichaceum-on moist rocky sandstone outcrop of low cliff in mesic forest
Leucobryum albidum-on soil in dry mesic forest
Leucobryum glaucum-on fallen rotting trees, stumps, soil in mesic forest
Mnium affine var. ciliare-on humic soil, rotting fallen trees, stumps in mesic forest
Mnium cuspidatum-on humic soil etc. as previous species
Mnium punctatum var. punctatum-in wet seepage place
Philonotis marchia-on wet soil in seepage along stream
Plagiothecium denticulatum
Schwetschkeopsis fabrionia-on bark of large Beech tree
Sematophyllum demissum-on wet rocks along forest stream
Thamnobryum allegheniense-on humic moist soil in mesic forest
Thuidium delicatulum-on humus, soil, rotting down boles and stumps, bases of trees in mesic forest
Ulota crispa-on tree trunks in mesic forest
Aneura pinguis-on humic moist and wet soil along stream bank; uncommon
Conocephalum conicum-on moist to wet humus and soil over rock in mesic forest; forms large mats
Frullania asagrayana-on bark of Black Oak, Northern Red Oak
Frullania eboracensis-on bark of trees in mesic forest
Lophocolea heterophylla (Chiloscyphus profundus) -on moist humus, soil and bases of trees in mesic forest
Metzgeria furcata-near base of trees in mesic forest
Nowellia curvifolia-on moist, rotting decorticated trees in mesic forest
Pallavicinia lyellii-on moist humus and soil along small streamin mesic forest; forms small mats
Porella platyphylla-on bark and rock in mesic forest; forming sprays of upturned branches
Scapania nemorosa-on humic soil, moist to wet; forms colonies
Chlorociboria aeruginascens
Climacodon septentrionalis
Clitocybe sp.
Cordyceps militaris
Daedaliopsis ambigua
Daedaliopsis confragosa
Daldinia concentrica
Laetiporus sulfureus
Lepiota sp.
Panellus stipticus
Phellinus rimosus
Pleurotus ostreatus
Stereum ostrea
Tremella reticulata
Tremrtes versicolor
Trichaptum biforme
Ustulina deusta
Xylaria polymorpha
Introduced Native Species (Native to U.S.A.)
Picea glauca (White Spruce) -recently planted at lake
Pinus strobus (White Pine) -planted in large patches
Quercus palustris (Pin Oak) -planted in a row along stream
Cornus drummondii (Roughleaf Dogwood-a few along stream in meadow
Viburnum dentatum var. dentatum (Southern Arrowwood) -several shrubs in meadow near animal museum. Probably also native to West Va. elsewhere.
Alien plant Species
Salix caprea-several small trees locally
Populus x canadensis-several trees planted
Alnus glutinosa-several small trees; local
Albizia julibrissin (Silk Tree) -infrequent ruderal, planted
Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven) -common; in mesic forest as sucanopy tree with dbh 12″ or more
Paulonia tomentosa (Princess Tree) -infrequent understory tree and spreading
Rubus phoenicolasius (Wine Berry)
Rosa multiflora (Multiflora Rose) from scattered to thickets
Elaeagnus umbellata (Autumn Olive) -common
Echinochloa muricata var, muricata-frequent locally; native?
Setaria faberii (foxtail) -occasional; ruderal
Setaria glauca (Yellow Foxtail) -frequent; ruderal
Phleum pratense (Timothy)
Agrostis gigantea-frequent; ruderal
Arthraxon hispidus-locally numerous; ruderal
Microstegium vimineum (Asiatic Stiltgrass)-common to abundant in all terrestrial habitats
Holcus lanatus (Velvet Grass) -frequent; ruderal
Eleusine indica (Goose Grass) -frequent; ruderal
Dactylis glomerata (Orchard Grass) -frequent
Poa annua (Annual Bluegrass) -frequent; ruderal
Poa pratensis (Kentucky Bluegrass) -common; ruderal
Poa compressa (Canada Bluegrass) -occasional
Festuca elatior (Meadow Fescue) -common; ruderal
Commelina communis (Asiatic Dayflower) -local; ruderal
Rumex obtusifolius (Broadleaf Dock) -frequent; ruderal
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed) -locally abundant
Polygonum caespitosum (Asiatic Water Pepper)-common
Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb) -occasional; ruderal
Mollugo verticillata (Carpetweed) -infrequent; ruderal
Barbarea vulgaris (Winter Cress) -occasional; ruderal
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover) -frequent; ruderal
Trifolium repens (White Clover) -frequent; ruderal
Coronilla varia (Crown Vetch) -occasional
Lespedeza striata (Japanese Bushclover) -common; ruderal
Lespedeza stipulacea (Korean Bushclover) -common; ruderal
Lespedeza cuneata-frequent; ruderal; planted on slopes etc.
Pueraria lobata (Kudzu) -locally abundant
Duchesnea indica (Indian Strawberry) -frequent; ruderal
Lotus corniculatus (Birds-foot Trefoil) -frequent along lake bank
Torilis japonica (Japanese Hedge Parsley) -scattered
Vinca minor (Periwinkle) – persisting and spreading around dwellings, old home sites
Perilla fructescens (Beefsteak Plant) -locally common
Veronica serpyllifolia (Thyme-leaved Speedwell)-ruderal
Veronica peregrina (Purslane Speedwell)-ruderal
Veronica arvensis (Corn Speedwell) -rudeal
Veronica officinalis (Common Speedwell) -occasional to frequent; ruderal; open woods
Lysimachia mummularia (Moneywort)-occasional
Ligustrum sinense-local; ruderal
Glechoma hederacea (Ground Ivy) -occasional to locally abundant
Prunella vulgaris var. vulgaris (European Self-heal) -frequent; ruderal
Mentha piperita (Peppermint) -several plants locally
Verbascum thapsus (Great Mullein) -frequent; ruderal
Verbascum blattaria (Moth Mullein) -infrequent; ruderal
Plantago lanceolata (Buckhorn Plantain)-frequent; ruderal
Plantago major (Great Plantain) -common in open ruderal areas
Galinsoga ciliata (Raceweed) -frequent; ruderal
Artemisia vulgaris (Mugwort) -infrequent; ruderal
Tussilago farfara (Coltsfoot) -common on road banks
Cirsium arvense (Canada Thistle) -locally several
Taraxacum officinale (Common Dandelion) -common in openings; ruderal
Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace or Wild Carrot) -common; ruderal
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta )
Red Banded Hairstreak (Strymon cecrops)
Tiger Swallowtail, including female Black Race (Papilio glaucus)
Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)
Zebra Swallowtail ( Papilio marcellus )
Black Swallotail (Papilio polyxenes asterius)
Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa )
Orange Sulfur ( Colias eurytheme )
Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor)
Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus )
Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon )
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Spring Azure (Lycaenopsis argiolis pseudargiolis )
Hackberry Emperor Butterfly (Asterocampa clyton)
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Assorted other Insects
Blister Beetle (Meloe sp.)
Cicada (Cicadidae family) ; not 13 or 17 year periodicals
Robber Fly (Asilidae family) ; large (1.2″ long)
Scorpion Fly ([a] common Scorpion Fly ; Panorpidae family)
Amphibians (Salamanders and Toads)
[Northern] Slimy Salamander (Pletodon glutinosus )
Appalachian Seal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola)
Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus )
Red Spotted Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens )
Northern Dusky Salamander ( Desmognathus fuscus )
Northern Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus)
Eastern American Toad (Bufo americanus)
Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon ) (1)
Northern Ringneck Snake ( Diadophis punctatus) (1)
Eastern Banded Rattler (Crotalis horridus ) (1)
Black Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta ) (1)
Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) (1)
Northern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) (1)
Five-lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus)
Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) (6+)
Raven (Corvus corax)
Titmice (Parus spp.)
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus )
Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopava)
Wood Thrush (Hylochichla mustelina)
Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis )
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)
The region, as typified by Chief Logan State Park, combines a suitable topography with bedrock, such as limestone, that yields soils that are among the richest anywhere. This is reflected in the imposing native diversity that includes at least 23 species of ferns and 34 species of large trees. Also present are a number of herbs such as American Ginseng, Goldenseal, Sharplobe Hepatica and Guyandotte Beauty, that demand rich soils and which are increasingly rare. We also need to consider the possibility that there are other species, both plant and animal, rarer than any of these, yet to be discovered, not only in the Park, but, of greater likelihood, in the much larger surrounding region that is subject to mining. It may also be the case that some of these species possess great value for medicinal or other purposes. Unfortunately the Park, as well as much of the surrounding region, has already been degraded. This is reflected, as Dr. Hunsucker found, in streams polluted by coal mining and in the Park itself by over-use and unwise and destructive road-building. It is also revealed in a long list of introduced alien species that crowd out natives, since they are better adapted to human-degraded habitats. Glaring examples are the shrub Autumn Olive, Asiatic Stiltgrass and Asiatic Waterpepper. Asiatic Stiltgrass, in particular, is almost omnipresent and very abundant in a variety of habitats. It also should be stressed that the inventories, as presented here, are very incomplete for bryophytes, fungi and animals of every kind. However, none of this can be blamed on the dedicated Park personnel, who do as best they can to protect the Park.
There are of course large human costs of MTR/VF mining, and a great part of these are a direct result of the loss of native biodiversity, which greatly diminishes livability in the mountain environment. Thus the protection of biodiversity and human communities is really one cause.
We appreciate in particular the helpfulness of the Park Employees, who are highly dedicated despite difficult conditions of overuse and degradation imposed by coal mining and other sources of pollution.
Braun, E. Lucy (1950) Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America. Macmillan, New York.
Deam, C. C. (1940) Flora of Indiana. Wm. B. Burford Printing Co., Indianapolis, Ind.
Strausbaugh, P. D. and Earl L. Core (1977) Flora of West Virginia, Second Edition. Seneca Books Inc. Grantsville, West Virginia.


One Response to “Wildlife in Appalachia”

  1. […] planted, and these with an eye towards eventual profibility and not restoring ecology. See my post Wildlife In Appalachia for a description of this area’s ecology, the conditions that produce it, and […]

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