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By Steven L. Stephenson

Central Appalachia is the procedure of linear ridges, intervening valleys, and deeply dissected plateaus that make up the rugged terrain present in western and southwestern Virginia, jap and imperative West Virginia, western Maryland, and a part of south important and southwestern Pennsylvania. via its concise and obtainable procedure, A usual heritage of the primary Appalachians thoroughly examines the biology and ecology of the crops, animals, and different organisms of this sector of japanese North America.
With over one hundred twenty pictures, this article presents an outline of the panorama of this sector, together with the foremost alterations that experience taken position over the previous three hundred million years; describes the different sorts of forests and different plant groups presently found in principal Appalachia; and examines dwelling platforms starting from microorganisms and fungi to birds and mammals. via a attention of the background of people within the area, starting with the arriving of the 1st local american citizens, A typical historical past of the important Appalachians also discusses the earlier, current, and destiny impacts of human task upon this geographic area.

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Extra info for A Natural History of the Central Appalachians

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The most distinctive feature of Calamites was the trunk, which had longitudinal ribs, appeared to be segmented (or “jointed”), and produced both branches and leaves in whorls (fig. 12). The leaves were small and needle-shaped, with up to twenty-five per whorl. The mature trunk was hollow, and when the plant died and fell to the ground it often filled with sediment. When the sediment hardened into rock, the resulting fossil had the shape SEED FERNS The plant fossils that we collected near Fairfax Stone on the visit mentioned at the beginning of chapter 1 included numerous examples of fern-like leaves, and based on appearance alone these would have been identified as ferns (fig.

When both the fossils and the rocks in which they occurred were subjected to intensive study, it turned out that these fossil seeds, which date back to about 360 million years, predated any other examples that had been reported at the time (Gillespie, Rothwell, and Scheckler, “The Earliest Seeds”). In other words, they were the earliest fossils of seeds then known to science. Later the plant that produced the seeds was named Elkinsia polymorpha (fig. 14). Although they would not have been a conspicuous element of the coal swamp forests of the Carboniferous, true ferns were present along with the seed ferns.

Because these small to medium-sized mammals require much smaller areas of suitable habitat to survive, they would have had an advantage over their larger counterparts. But this is probably only part of the explanation. Whatever the case, only six large mammals were still present in the Central Appalachians when the first Europeans arrived. , various nuts and berries). The usual habitat of the passenger pigeon was the deciduous forest region of eastern North America, although the habitat was known to extend as far west as British Columbia.

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