Appalachina chilhoweensis (J. Lewis, 1870) Queen Crater

Habitat

The Appalachina chilhoweensis can be found in the Great Smoky Mountains in the states of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The A. chilhoweensis are found in fairly strict environmental settings. Most are found up in high in the Appalachian Mountains on wooded slopes that consist of mixed hardwood forests under leaf litter (Dourson, 2010). It can also be found among sandstone boulders of talus (Dourson, 2010). Talus is a "pile" of rocks that is usually located at the bottom of a ledge of cliff where a buildup of sandstone boulders occurs due to environmental causes (Chandler, 1973). The highest height the A. chilhoweensis has been recorded is 5400 feet (Dourson, 2010).

 

From the sources that were available at the time I created a map showing the known distribution of the Appalachina chilhoweensis. The original map that I found on eol.org had only the three states of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky highlighted. This is not very a very precise map because the habitat of the Appalachina chilhoweensis is in the Appalachian Mountains located in the Eastern part of Kentucky and Tennessee, and the western part of North Carolina and not continuously through the three states. I add information on the county level which was taken from recorded encounters by Pilsbry (Pilsbry, 1940). This multivariate map illustrates a more precise distribution located along the Appalachian Mountains which is produced by highlighting the counties that A. chilhoweensis has been found in (Pilsbry, 1940). Even though there were no records on the county level of recorded findings it is believed that the A. chihoweensis could have been possible located in Kentucky, but because of the rough terrain of the Appalachian Mountains it was hard to determine the exact location in 1940 (Pilsbry, 1940).

 

This distribution map was created from a description of habitat and recorded point localities of the A. chilhoweensis. The point localities were collected from the Malacology Collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Field Museum, and from Pilsbry, H. 1940. Each point locality came with a brief description of were each snail was recorded. Using the description, each recording was digitized on top of base map. In the same projected coordinate system as the point localities, layers of geology, cover type and elevation were used for analysis of habitat type. Since data for the habitat on the A. chilhoweensis is not very descriptive, some of the analysis was done from interpreting the the type of geology, cover type, and elevation that the point localities were located in. Using a description of habitat and information from the point localities my parameters for habitat type are:

       Elevation: 1= 425 m and up for southeast map, and 1=320 m and up for the northeast corner (due to where localities have been found)

       Kentucky: geology (1= sand, limestone, sandstone, clay or mud, conglomerate, black shale, metasedimentary rock, shale) / covertype ( 1=  Deciduous forest, evergreen forest, mixed forest/ herbaceous, woody wetlands, emergent herbaceous wetlands)

       Tennessee: geology ( 1=Chort, clay or mud, sand, limestone, sandstone, metasedimentary rock, shale, conglomerate, black shale, migmatite)/ covertype ( 1=  Deciduous forest, evergreen forest, mixed forest/ herbaceous, woody wetlands, emergent herbaceous wetlands)

       North Carolina: geology ( 1=Chort, clay or mud, sand, limestone, sandstone, metasedimentary rock, shale, conglomerate, black shale, migmatite)/ covertype ( 1=  Deciduous forest, evergreen forest, mixed forest/ herbaceous, woody wetlands, emergent herbaceous wetlands

The map shows the distribution of the A. chilhoweensis is mostly located up in the Great Smoky Mountains as expected.  However, the distribution up the the Great Smoky Mountains is confined to a smaller area than shown by other maps. Also, now looking at the spatial distribution of the point localities a concentration can be seen around the Tennessee and Kentucky boarder, specifically in Blount and Sevier counties.

Using this map for further research would be helpful for locating more A. chilhoweensis while saving time and money. Once more information is gather and a better description of habitat is available, an even more accurate distribution map can be created.

-The spatial data of geology, cover type and elevation were retrieved from the USDA Geospatial Data Gateway. States and county layers that were used for this map were retrieved from the U.S. Census.

 

 

 Next we will look at Appalachina chilhoweensis nutrition, and see why the A. chilhoweensis is often found under leaf litter!!!


Nutrition                                                                                                           Home Page