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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Stretching over more than 200,000 ha, this exceptionally beautiful park is home to more than 3,500 plant species, including almost as many trees (130 natural species) as in all of Europe. Many endangered animal species are also found there, including what is probably the greatest variety of salamanders in the world. Since the park is relatively untouched, it gives an idea of temperate flora before the influence of humankind.

Parc national des Great Smoky Mountains

S'étendant sur plus de 200 000 ha, ce parc d'une beauté exceptionnelle abrite plus de 3 500 espèces végétales, dont presque autant d'arbres (130 essences naturelles) que l'Europe tout entière. On y trouve aussi de nombreuses espèces animales menacées avec, probablement, la plus grande variété de salamandres au monde. Resté relativement à l'écart, il donne une idée de la flore tempérée avant l'influence de l'homme.

المنتزه الوطني لجبال غرايت سموكي العظيمة

يمتد هذا المنتزه على مساحة أكثر من مئتي ألف هكتار وهو يكتنف في حنايا جماله الاستثنائي فصائل نباتيّة وأشجار (130 عطراً طبيعيّاً) بنسبة أكثر من 3500 فصيلة مما تضمّ أوروبا مجموعةً. وفيه أيضاً العديد من الفصائل الحيوانيّة المهددة مثل السمندل. وحيث لم تطله اليد البشريّة نسبيّاً فهو يعكس الحياة الطبيعيّة المعتدلة قبل أن يؤثّر فيها الإنسان.

source: UNESCO/ERI

大烟雾山国家公园

大烟雾山国家公园占地20万公顷,园内生长有超过3500种植物,其中树木约130种,这个数目与整个欧洲的树木种类基本持平。在大烟雾山国家公园中还有许多种濒危动物,其中蝾螈的种类可能是世界上最多的。由于大烟雾山国家公园基本未受到人类破坏,所以在这里我们可以看到未受人类影响的温带植物生长情况。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Национальный парк Грейт-Смоки-Маунтинс

В этом исключительно живописном парке, покрывающем площадь свыше 200 тыс. га, зафиксировано более 3,5 тыс. видов растений, включая 130 видов деревьев (примерно столько же отмечено во всей Европе). Здесь обитает и множество редких и исчезающих видов зверей, а разнообразие местных саламандр можно признать наибольшим в мире. Эта хорошо сохранившаяся местность позволяет представить состояние растительности умеренного пояса до времени её освоения человеком.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Parque Nacional de Great Smoky Mountains

Este parque de excepcional belleza abarca más de 200.000 hectáreas y alberga más de 3.500 especies de plantas vasculares. Posee tantas variedades de árboles (130 especies naturales) como toda Europa en su conjunto. También alberga numerosas especies animales en peligro de extinción y la mayor variedad de salamandras del mundo, probablemente. Al estar relativamente intacto, este parque permite hacerse una idea de cómo era la flora de la zona templada antes de que el hombre empezase a dejar su huella en la naturaleza.

source: UNESCO/ERI

グレート・スモーキー山脈国立公園

source: NFUAJ

Nationaal park Great Smoky Mountains

Dit uitzonderlijk mooie park – dat zich uitstrekt over meer dan 200.000 hectare – is de thuisbasis van meer dan 3.500 plantensoorten. Verder zijn er bijna net zoveel bomen als in heel Europa (130 natuurlijke soorten). Het is de habitat van veel bedreigde diersoorten en de Great Smoky Mountains kent zelfs de grootste verscheidenheid aan salamanders ter wereld. De hevige neerslag en tal van beken maken het gebied ideaal voor een breed scala aan amfibiesoorten. Omdat het park relatief onaangetast is, geeft het een goede indruk van de flora zoals die was voor de invloed van de mensheid.

Source: unesco.nl

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park © LostBob
Statement of Significance

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a major North American refuge of temperate zone flora and fauna that survived the Pleistocene glaciations. The park includes the largest remnant of the diverse Arcto-Tertiary geoflora era left in the world, and provides an indication of the appearance of late Pleistocene flora. It is large enough to allow the continuing biological evolution of this natural system, and its biological diversity exceeds that of other temperate-zone protected areas of comparable size. The park is of exceptional natural beauty with undisturbed, virgin forest including the largest block of virgin red spruce remaining on earth.

Criterion (vii): The site is of exceptional natural beauty with scenic vistas of characteristic mist-shrouded (“smoky”) mountains, vast stretches of virgin timber, and clear running streams.

Criterion (viii): Great Smoky Mountains National Park is of world importance as the outstanding example of the diverse Arcto-Tertiary geoflora era, providing an indication of what the late Pleistocene flora looked like before recent human impacts.

Criterion (ix): The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest remaining remnants of the diverse Arcto-Tertiary geoflora era in the world. It is large enough to be a significant example of continuing biological evolution of this natural system.

Criterion (x): The Great Smoky Mountains is of the one of the most ecologically rich and diverse temperate zone protected areas in the world. There are over 1300 native vascular plant species, including 105 native tree species, plus nearly 500 species of non-vascular plants - a level of floristic diversity that rivals or exceeds other temperate zone protected areas of similar size. The park is also home to the world’s greatest diversity of salamander species (31) - an important indicator of overall ecosystem health - and is the center of diversity for lungless salamanders, with 24 species.

Long Description

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most important natural area in the eastern United States and is of world importance as an example of temperate deciduous hardwood forest and thus an outstanding example of the diverse Arcto-Tertiary geoflora era, having a high number of temperate species with some rich mixed stands. During Pleistocene glaciation it was the major North American refuge for temperate and boreal species of flora and fauna, so has a large number of endemic species as well as an extremely rich species composition. With 130 species of tree, it has almost as many species as all of Europe. This has resulted in a rich vegetation mosaic. It harbours many endangered species of animals, and has possibly the greatest diversity of salamanders in the world; it is a centre of endemism for North American molluscs.

The dominant topographic feature of the park is the range of the Great Smoky Mountains with 16 peaks over 1,829m. Lesser ridges form radiating spurs from the central ridgeline. In broad aspect, the topography of the park consists of moderately sharp-crested, steep-sided ridges separated by deep V-shaped valleys. Many of the mountain ridges branch and subdivide creating a complex of drainage systems with many fast-flowing clear mountain streams. The park contains 22 major watersheds and the water table is near the surface in almost all sections. Precambrian metamorphic rocks consisting of gneisses and schists, and sedimentary rocks.

The vegetation changes continuously with elevation, slope aspect and soil moisture patterns. Five species are officially listed as endangered on the Fish and Wildlife Service List of Candidate Endangered Plants. A diverse fauna occurs including at least 50 native animals, reflecting the richness of the flora. Several species of bat and over 200 species of bird inhabit the park.

Heavy precipitation and numerous streams make the mountains ideal for a wide variety of amphibian species; the park also contains a diversity of invertebrates, over 70 species of native fish, spiders, insects and other arthropods, and over 100 species of caddisfly and stonefly.

Archaeological sites support the theory that prehistoric people (15,000 years ago) were hunters and gatherers. Present historical and cultural interpretation in the park is based mainly on the structures dating from the mid-1800s to 1920, including the finest collection of log buildings in the United States.

The park contains evidence of four pre-Columbian Indian cultures: Mississippian, Woodland, Archaic and palaeo-Indian. The early Woodland culture period is of special archaeological importance because it shows the first evidence of organized horticulture in North America, with primitive agriculture on river floodplains. These Indians used the caves for shelters and chipped gypsum and mirabilite off the walls: more than 150 archaeological sites have been identified within the national park. Saltpeter deposits were discovered on the cave walls and this valuable nitrate was removed and sent to be processed in gunpowder factories between 1809 and 1819. Three churches and 14 cemeteries still exist in the park and are used by the public.

There are no permanent inhabitants in the core area. About 240 people live in the buffer zones with a further 1,500 in the transition area. Only 25% of the population is considered urban and no significant increase in urbanization is expected in the near future. Most people are engaged in agriculture, tourism or service industries.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

22 May 1926 as a national park (44 Stat. 616) and June 1976 as a biosphere reserve

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation