Smoky Mountains

Background on Ecosystem

Forests in Appalachia were converted to agricultural uses during western expansion by European colonists, but as superior farmland was discovered further west, much of the converted land was allowed to return to a forested state. The area is now protected, but it is the most visited National Park in the United States of America. Biophonic soundscape contributions come primarily from birds, frogs, and insects.

Specific Location

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sevier County, Tennessee, United States of America

Biome Classification(s)

Köppen-Geiger: Cfb Warm Temperate Fully Humid Warm Summer

Key Partners

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Threats to Ecosystems and Animals

Invasive species and tree diseases such as the hemlock wooly adelgid threaten the composition and structure of these forested habitats. Years of fire suppression have also increased the risk of high-intensity wildfires.


  • Study 1: Comparison between old growth and secondary forest soundscapes. Recorders were placed in old growth and secondary forests to see if there was any difference in the acoustic communities living in each habitat type. Although the forest types may seem similar at a quick glance, careful attention reveals structural differences that may promote different communities of soniferous animals.