The Ever-changing Yellowstone National Park
Ever Changing Yellow Stone National Park
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Ever Changing Yellow Stone National Park
Maintenance of biodiversity is one of the prime objectives of any National Park. Such habitats help to encourage the natural living environments, of flora and fauna and help to sustain the respective ecosystems, which are occupied by these organisms. However, all across the globe it has been documented that diseases and intra-specific competition impose a threat to these organisms. If the dynamics of predator-prey interactions are not known/ or are not addressed such natural habitats will be lost (Dilsaver & William, 2005). One such natural habitat is the Yellow Stone National Park in the United States of America. The present article will try to highlight the diversity of species in relation to flora and fauna of the park. It would also try to implicate the various changes the park witnessed concerning its fauna and flora populations due to diseases and competition. Such disruption in species diversity will erode the energy flow in an ecosystem, by compromising various levels of tropic structures (Wheeler, 2010).
The Yellow Stone National Park is one of the National prides of United States. The park is situated in the state of Wyoming and is enriched with wide biodiversity. The park also extends to Montano and Idaho (Janetski, 1987). Yellow State National Park is the first of its kind, National Park in the world. It protects the species in their natural habitats as they behold various forms of sustainable ecosystems (Mathew, 1991). The area of the park is around 346.4 square miles and comprises of various natural lakes, canyons, rivers and various mountain ranges. It also consists of a volcano, however, most of time it is dormant (Lundquist, 2013). The fascinating feature of the national park is its species diversity (Rydell & Mary Shivers, 2006). However, natural calamities like volcanic eruptions and forest fires can pose the severe challenge to the Yellow Stone national Park.
The park has been a home for various endangered and threatened species. Apart from the biotic communities the abiotic communities are also species divergent. The park houses grizzly bears, wolves, herds of bison, elks. Although the park has maintained the species diversities, but it has been threatened due to various pathogenic influxes of fungi and bacteria that have caused a problem for both flora and fauna. Hence, it is rightly projected that the park is always changing concerning its beholding capacity of flora and fauna. The jeopardy and variations of its species from time to time will reflect the drastic change the Park witnessed over periods of time.
The diversity in the range of flora is widespread. Around 1700 species of trees and plants are found in this park. Apart from that, various species of exotic plants have found their way to the park and accounts for more than 170 species of them. The Lodgepole Pine forests are the largest number of any single species of flora that dominate the park. It covers around 80% of the park. Other types of conifers include Subalpine Fir, Whitebark Pine, Rocky Mountain Douglas Firs, to name a few. However, the White Bark Pine is under the threatening effects of a fungus and is a real concern for the park authorities. Apart from the conifers the next predominant species of flora includes the deciduous forests. They include the Quaking Aspen and the willows (Cross, 2012).
Like the flora, the fauna population has witnessed changes. The park is considered as one the megafauna habitats amongst all the States of United States. There are more than 60 species of mammals only, which includes wolf, grizzly bears, lynx, black bear, and white-tailed deer amongst the few. Moreover, the Park is the largest habitat for the American Bison. However, these species have been feared to transmit a threatening virus called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy virus across cattle. Moreover, brucellosis is a threatening disease in this bison herd. Apart from Bison, Elks also carry such diseases and infects horses and cattle (Punke, 2007).
The population of Bison have increased drastically till 2005; however their numbers dropped to half due to the epidemic of brucellosis. This species of bison is considered one of the four genetically pure breed of bison, which are found in the United States. The Bison herd at one time during 1996-1997 was so high that they escaped from the core areas of the park into the associated areas (MacDonald, 2006). The park was losing its diversity on wolf species and hence exotic wolves were imported from Canada to address such disparity in wolf population (Lowenstern, 2005). Although there was the wide migration of wolves from the National Park, still a survey reported that 13 wolf packs were available in around 326 ecosystems in the Yellow Stone national park, during 2005 (Punke, 2007).
Yellow Stone National Park is a habitat for the species of Cutthroat Trout (Kendall, 1915). However, even this species of fish as been endangered by illegal introduction of lake trout into the aquatic ecosystem of the Yellow Stone national park. These lake trout are bigger and predated on the cutthroat trout reducing their numbers significantly. The survival of cutthroat trout was also challenged by a parasitic disease called the whirling disease. To conclude, the Yellow Stone National Park must be protected from various exotic challenges, which may disturb the sustainability of various ecosystems of this great National Park and erode its pride and biodiversity (Marquis, 2006).
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