Iowa fauna, Paleozoic Plateau, Driftless Area, biogeography
The Paleozoic Plateau and adjacent rocky outcrop areas of northeastern Iowa harbor many of the state’s most unique animal species. Nearly 40% of the state's endangered or threatened vertebrates and all of Iowa's animals on the national list are known from this region. Quantitative comparisons with other parts of the state confirm the existence of a rich vertebrate fauna in the Paelozoic Plateau region. Its peripheral location within Iowa, extensive forest cover, and relatively undisturbed river systems account largely for the occurrence of species found rarely or not at all elsewhere in the state. Less mobile organisms such as land snails and other invertebrates have been influenced more directly by northeast Iowa's peculiar geological history. The Paleozoic Plateau probably has served as both a glacial and post-glacial refugium for relict species. Recent studies suggest that the biological uniqueness of the region might not be fully realized.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1984 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Howe, Robert W.
"Zoogeography of Iowa's Paleozoic Plateau,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 91(1), 32-36.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol91/iss1/10