National Park Service


Date of this Version



Natural Resource Data Series NPS/NGPN/NRDS 2015/764 / NPS 317/128100, February 2015: vi, 20 pages

Published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Please cite this publication as:

Prowatzke, M. and S. K. Wilson. 2015. Plant community composition and structure monitoring for Scotts Bluff National Monument: 2014 annual report. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/NGPN/NRDS—2015/764. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.


United States government work. Public domain material.



This report presents the results of vegetation monitoring efforts in 2014 at Scotts Bluff National Monument (SCBL) by the Northern Great Plains Inventory and Monitoring Network (NGPN).

During the fourth full year of field work, crew members from NGPN visited eight plant community monitoring plots to collect data on the vegetation at SCBL. This is part of a long-term monitoring effort that will sample eight of 20 randomly located upland plots every year, so that each plot is visited for two consecutive years and then rested for three years, on a five-year rotating basis. Additionally, NGPN staff also visited four plots which had been established by the Heartland Inventory and Monitoring Program in 1997. At all plots, NGPN staff captured data relating to species richness, herb-layer height, abundance of individual native and non-native species, ground cover, and site disturbance.

Our 2014 findings can be summarized as follows: The crew observed 91 vascular plant species in upland plots, with an average of 5.2 native species occurring within any given 1 m2 quadrat sampled. While native species diversity is still at a moderate level, non-native species represented 50.8% of cover, and present extreme management challenges. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) was a dominant species throughout the park.