National Park Service


Date of this Version



Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NGPN/NRTR—2011/518


Ashton, I. W., M. Prowatzke, M. Bynum, T. Shepherd, S. K. Wilson, K. Paintner-Green. 2011. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument plant community composition and structure monitoring: 2011 annual report. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NGPN/NRTR—2011/518. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.


The Northern Great Plains Inventory & Monitoring Network (NGPN) was established to develop and provide scientifically credible information on the current status and long-term trends of the composition, structure, and function of ecosystems in thirteen parks located in five northern Great Plains states. NGPN identified upland plant communities, exotic plant early detection, and riparian lowland communities as vital signs that can be used to better understand the condition of terrestrial park ecosystems (Gitzen et al. 2010). Upland and riparian ecosystems are important targets for vegetation monitoring because the status and trends in plant communities provide critical insights into the status and trends of other biotic components within those ecosystems.