Biodiversity and Floristics

Since 2013, BRIT has invested in a program to document plant biodiversity in the Southern Appalachians. In the most recent project of this effort, BRIT research associates Devin Rodgers and Chris Mausert-Mooney, led by BRIT botanical explorer Dwayne Estes, are piloting an effort to provide critical vegetation data so that researchers can investigate the long-term effects of climate change, invasive species, and acid rain on the ecology of high-elevation ecosystems in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This project will monitor high-quality brook trout streams and document the riparian vegetation of four watersheds in east Tennessee. It emphasizes the important connection between vegetation and broader ecosystem conservation.