In 1998, Great Smoky Mountains National Park embarked on a project to determine all life forms in the Park. This ongoing project, an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, or ATBI, has resulted in a wealth of information about Park resources. A science plan has been adopted and a pilot study has been completed; further testing of protocols is now being conducted to further refine sampling techniques within a plot structure throughout the Park. Traditional sampling methods continue to be used as well. Education, at all levels, has been an integral part of this project. To date, over 200 scientists have been involved and over 5500 species discoveries have been made, which includes 4740 new distribution records for known species, and 829 species new to science. In addition to species identifications, ecological information is being gathered that greatly benefits Park management with regard to resource stewardship.
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Vol. 6 • No. sp2