Date of this Version
Natural Resource Data Series NPS/WICA/NRDS 2019/1247 / NPS 108/165815, December 2019, vii, 33 pages
Published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, Fort Collins, Colorado
Also available at: https://www.nps.gov/im/ngpn/index.htm
Please cite this publication as:
Schaffner, T. L., D. J. Swanson, and S. L. Rockwood. 2019. Plant community composition and structure monitoring at Wind Cave National Park: 2019 data report. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/WICA/NRDS—2019/1247. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
This report presents the results of the Northern Great Plains Inventory and Monitoring Network (NGPN) and Northern Great Plains Fire Ecology Program (NGPFire) vegetation monitoring at Wind Cave National Park (WICA) in 2019. This was the ninth year of combined monitoring efforts.
Crew members from NGPN visited 18 long-term monitoring plots to collect data representing the plant communities at WICA. The NGPFire program collected pre- and post-burn data from an additional 37 plant community and forest structure monitoring plots. This work is part of a long-term monitoring effort designed to evaluate the condition of the vegetation community and understand how it is changing over time. NGPN staff measured species richness, herb-layer height, native and non-native species abundance, ground cover, and site disturbance at each of the plots. In plots where woody species were present, tree regeneration, tall shrub density, tree density, and woody fuel loads were also measured. NGPFire conducted herb-layer height, native and non-native abundance, ground cover, disturbance, protocols at 18 plots, and where woody species were present, tree density, tree regeneration, tall shrub density, and woody fuel load protocols were completed at 35 plots.
In 2019, the NGPN and NGPFire monitoring crews identified 239 unique plant species from 55 plant community and forest structure monitoring plots. Of the 239 species observed in 2019, 203 were native and 34 were exotic.
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