The Ecological Difference

Ecos, in Greek, means home or community. There is no better way to describe the Carolina Crescent.

The Study of Home

The Carolina Crescent has been a shelter and a home to so many, for so long. Of course, ecology is the study of our home—all of the geological, climatological and biological interactions and relationships. The Carolina Crescent proves to be a place unlike any other for sheltering and nurturing life.

  • More species of salamander than any other similar sized region in the world.
  • More species of trillium than any other similar sized region in the world.
  • Over 120 tree species in a single valley.
  • More species of ferns than any other region of the United States.
  • Tropical plants and plants from the northern coniferous forests co-existing in the same place.

All of these facts point to the unique combination of ecological characteristics that shelter life through change.

The Facts

Salamanders and trillium are really poor at migration. A trillium can spread its seeds no farther than 100 yards in a decade. A salamander may move no farther than 3 feet in its lifetime. These plants and animals cannot migrate at a speed that keeps up with climate change. The fact that the mountains here rise over 2000 feet in a matter of only a couple miles means that plants and animals can migrate up and down hill. The unusual geographic position of our escarpment (where the mountains begin) here near the southern terminus of the Appalachians results in more temperate climates but it also means that moisture is captured easily and we have the most consistent and highest rainfall east of Washington State. All of this water has also cut ancient gorges and valleys through the mountains that have their own microclimate which is never as cold in the winter and never as warm in the summer as the surrounding landscape. All of these unique features have resulted in a place, unlike any other in the eastern United States – a place where the essentials of life are preserved through change.

The Facts

Salamanders and trillium are really poor at migration. A trillium can spread its seeds no farther than 100 yards in a decade. A salamander may move no farther than 3 feet in its lifetime. These plants and animals cannot migrate at a speed that keeps up with climate change. The fact that the mountains here rise over 2000 feet in a matter of only a couple miles means that plants and animals can migrate up and down hill. The unusual geographic position of our escarpment (where the mountains begin) here near the southern terminus of the Appalachians results in more temperate climates but it also means that moisture is captured easily and we have the most consistent and highest rainfall east of Washington State. All of this water has also cut ancient gorges and valleys through the mountains that have their own microclimate which is never as cold in the winter and never as warm in the summer as the surrounding landscape. All of these unique features have resulted in a place, unlike any other in the eastern United States – a place where the essentials of life are preserved through change.

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