The Plants and Natural Communities Working Group’s mission is to focus on plants and their natural communities including ecological function and processes. It will address the use of natural areas (including State Natural Areas) in studying and measuring climate change on plants and natural communities and in maintaining viable populations of rare species.


The Plants and Natural Communities Working Group’s goals are the following:

  • Identify risks posed by climate change to natural community groups, natural communities, and individual plant species.
  • Identify data needs and propose research projects to address those needs.
  • Obtain climate change projections form the Climate working group in a format that will allow GIS manipulation of various layers.
  • Assemble the GIS layers necessary to support vulnerability assessments.
  • Identify and use other projection tools to assist in vulnerability assessments.
  • Develop adaptation strategies.
  • Coordinate with other working groups, such as Wildlife and Forestry, to minimize overlap and duplication of effort.

Climate Vulnerability Assessments

Climate change may bring higher temperatures, variable precipitation, and more frequent intense storms. These ten vulnerability assessments (PDFs), put together by the Plants and Natural Communities Working Group, provide a broad summary of potential impacts of climate change, and may provide a foundation for conservation planning in the face of an uncertain future.