Conservation efforts in a mountain wetland area near the North Carolina Arboretum are getting a boost, thanks to research from Warren Wilson College professor Amy Boyd and 2015 graduate Adele Preusser.
The pair collected and cataloged more than 300 species of plants in the Sandy Bottom Wetland Preserve, in the flood plain of the French Broad River in Buncombe County. In their recently published research, the scientists say their work will “inform future conservation management efforts on the property.”
Boyd, a biology professor at the college since 2001, said Sandy Bottom and other Appalachian wetlands are at risk.
“Wetlands, in general, are some of the most imperiled ecosystems worldwide, mostly because of land development by humans,” Boyd said. “In our mountains, this is compounded by the fact that they were rare ecosystems to begin with. Wetlands form in flat places where water can pool, but in the mountains, there aren’t a lot of flat places, so natural wetlands were uncommon even before habitat loss through development.”
Sandy Bottom Wetland Preserve is “used for education and research and is managed for conservation of several rare and threatened animal species,” according to Boyd and Preusser in their research published by the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society. However, a floristic study has not been completed at this level of detail until now.
Scientific Name: Alternanthera philoxeroides A native of South America, alligatorweed was inadvertently introduced to Southeastern U.S. in the late 1800s. Its white flowers are clover-like and bloom a summer. Most commonly found floating in mats along the water’s edge, alligatorweed also grows immersed and even terrestrially. Its opposing leaves are lance shaped, 1-2 inches long, […]
Do you know where the water that flows into a storm drain goes? This water does not go to a treatment plant but flows directly into our streams, lakes, and rivers. Many people poor oil, paint, yard waste, and other pollutants into the storm drain because they think the water will be treated before […]
RiverLink and MountainTrue have developed informational kiosks for each river access point along the French Broad River Paddle Trail with a grant from the North Carolina Recreational Trails Program. Each kiosk focuses on historical and natural features of the river, as well as paddle trail information including maps and boater resources. These kiosks aid users and […]