Metro Pulse: 17,000 Species in the Great Smoky Mountains. And Counting.

The Metro Pulse interviewed Nate Sanders, an associate professor in ecology and evolutionary biology, about his assistance with a large-scale project that seeks to identify every living thing in the Great Smoky Mountains. Sanders conducts research on biodiversity of the more than seventeen thousand species. “One pretty cool example is that most of the plant species that you see in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park rely on ants to disperse their seeds,” Sanders told the publication. “So one of the things we did was just put out seeds and look at what happened to them. And 166 out of 167 times, one ant species carried the seed away. So even though there there’s a lot of biodiversity in the Smokies, there’s some species that do a lot.”

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