Construction permits increased from a reading of 97 in March to almost 115 in April for Conway," said ATBI
developer Marc Fusaro, associate professor of economics at Tech.
All of this interest in the Smokies' tardigrade population probably wouldn't exist had it not been for the ATBI
, where scientists aren't just counting species but trying to understand how they relate to one another, too.
No study has been done on whether treating LTBI lessens this natural immune protection for subsequent secondary ATBI
The specific objectives of this study are to 1) collate and summarize baseline information on physiography, geology, climate, and forest ecology of Deep Woods to assist researchers of the ATBI, 2) elucidate the anthropogenic history of the area, 3) quantitatively assess the current vegetation, and 4) compare the current vegetation to historical forest composition.
The goal of this study was to evaluate and summarize the natural history and forest ecology of Deep Woods in the interest of providing baseline information to the many researchers involved in the ATBI.
Of course, the ATBI and its potential benefits carry a price tag; the program's current budget is about $300,000 annually.
At this year's ATBI conference, researchers discussed the project's discoveries, and photographers showed spectacular slides and scanned images of life forms never before or rarely seen, officials said.
Conceived shortly after another all taxa inventory was abandoned in Costa Rica in late 1996, the Smokies ATBI has generated national publicity and a flood of public interest with its potential to unlock natural secrets that could vanquish diseases, stem the onslaught of invasive species and document the loss of native ones, and provide more data about the ravages of air pollution on Appalachian forests--although such discoveries are still years away.
DLIA's board of directors agrees that it will need a significant infusion of cash if the ATBI is to be completed anywhere close to its original timetable of ten to 15 years.
For example, a non-native adelgid (a type of insect) has been wiping out the fir trees in the spruce-fir habitats in the park's higher elevations, says John Pickering, co-chairman of the ATBI
with Keith Langdon, inventory and monitoring coordinator for the park.
Details of the structured methodologies are still being discussed by the Tennessee State Parks ATBI
Steering Committee, and progress will be reported.
Estimated to take roughly 15 years to complete, the ATBI
has never before been accomplished in the world.