Algal biodiversity in Great Smoky Mountains National Park



A wide range of acid aquatic habitats in the Park make it an ideal location to explore the biodiversity of Eunotia. A number of Eunotia species - including several new to science - have been posted to Diatoms of the United States.


Eunotia | Eunotia areniverma | Eunotia bilii | Eunotia boomsma | Eunotia canicula | Eunotia cataractarum | Eunotia enischna | Eunotia horstii | Eunotia kociolekii | Eunotia macroglossa | Eunotia montuosa | Eunotia mydohaimasiae | Eunotia obliquestriata | Eunotia orthohedra | Eunotia papilioforma | Eunotia richbuttensis | Eunotia rushforthii |


All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory

Biodiversity in the Park

Since the late 1990’s, the National Park Service and Discover Life In America have taken on the ambitious task of completing an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As one of the most species rich areas in the temperate zone, the park is considered a hot spot of biological diversity and has been designated as an International Biosphere Reserve. Researchers have been working to discover and document all organisms within the boundaries of the park, including the microscopic algae. Algal diversity is high and many species are new, endemic, or restricted in range.  The algal taxonomic working group led by Rex L. Lowe (Bowling Green State University) and Jeffrey R. Johansen (John Carroll University) collected samples from freshwater habitats throughout the national park and discovered several diatom species that are new to science. 


Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a range of acidic aquatic habitats from complex geology, across a range of elevation (267 m to 2025 m), making it an ideal location to explore the biodiversity of Eunotia. Natural variations in acidity (i.e. from the Anakeesta formation) are combined with influences from anthropogenic sources of acidity including sulfur and nitrous oxides in acid precipitation. Rainfall, especially at high elevations can have a pH of 4.5, which is 5–10 times more acidic than other areas in North America, where pH ranges from 5.0 to 5.6.

Furey inventoried Eunotia species from lakes, streams, wet walls, ponds, and bogs throughout the national park. Over 50 sub-generic taxa of Eunotia were identified in this study, including 14 species of Eunotia new to science. Several of these new species are posted on the Diatoms of the United States website. 


National Science Foundation

Grant DEB 0315979 | Rex L. Lowe

Discover Life In America

Grant DLIA2005-07 | Paula C. Furey

North American Benthological Society (NABS)

Conservation & Environmental Issues Research Award | Paula C. Furey

North American Benthological Society (NABS)

Boesal-Sanderson Award | Paula C. Furey

Phycological Society of America

Grant-in-Aid of Research | Paula C. Furey

Sigma Xi

Grant-in-Aid of Research | Paula C. Furey

Phi Kappa Phi

Love of Learning Award | Paula C. Furey


Paula Furey

Freshwater Ecologist, Department of Biology, St. Catherine University

Rex Lowe

Professor Emeritus, Bowling Green State University

Jeffrey Johansen

John Carroll University

This project was first entered on 25 April, 2011 by Paula Furey