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Title: Biodiversity in the Sierra Nevada

Author: Murphy, Dennis D.; Fleishman, Erica; Stine, Peter A.;

Date: 2004

Source: In: Murphy, Dennis D. and Stine, Peter A., editors. Proceedings of the Sierra Nevada Science Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-193. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 167-174

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The earliest explorers of the Sierra Nevada hailed the mountain range for its unsurpassed scenery. Although a significant component of that beauty was an especially rich assemblage of plants and animals, it was not until many decades later that the Sierra Nevada's wealth of biodiversity was appreciated fully and documented in earnest. Indeed, by the time naturalists, including the legendary John Muir, began to write of the range’s biological assets, features such as ancient forests, alpine meadows, and stream corridors were under full assault from unsustainable levels of logging, livestock grazing, and mining. Grizzly bears, wolverines, mountain sheep, and condors had disappeared outright or were far along the path toward disappearance in the Sierra Nevada. Unknown populations of more cryptic species were likely extirpated also, reducing the species' genetic diversity and either disrupting or permanently altering ecological interactions. We will never have complete knowledge of species richness, composition, and distribution of the native biodiversity of the Sierra Nevada prior to European-American settlement.

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Murphy, Dennis D.; Fleishman, Erica; Stine, Peter A. 2004. Biodiversity in the Sierra Nevada. In: Murphy, Dennis D. and Stine, Peter A., editors. Proceedings of the Sierra Nevada Science Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-193. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 167-174

 


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