It has been recognized by the Appalachian LCC partnership that to develop and deliver landscape-level planning tools, it is essential to develop an Appalachian-wide map depicting where cave and karst habitats and resources occur across the landscape. For the past 18 months, researchers for the Appalachian LCC funded “Classification and Georeferencing Cave/Karst Resources across the Appalachian LCC” project have been gathering and analyzing data on caves and karst region wide. This work has produced a series of deliverables, including narratives, data tables, geospatial information layers, and a variety of maps. The maps and files provide a comprehensive overview of data availability for examining relationships between environmental factors and biological diversity and distribution within karst areas of the Appalachian LCC.
A visual survey compiles all this information and guides users to what this project has accomplished, as well as what new questions and results would be interesting to end-users. The deliverables have focused on region-wide results, but smaller areas (e.g., states, counties, or ecoregions) also could be analyzed. Deliverables have also focused on the obligate cave-dwelling fauna, but some preliminary results for cave-inhabiting bats are presented. This vital spatial information on the physical and biological resources of cave/karst systems – compiled by researchers at American University, U.S. Geological Survey, University of the South, University of Illinois, and University of Florida - can now be incorporated into landscape conservation planning for the region.
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