Plants and Natural Communities Working Group

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 Work Group's goals are to:

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

This is an open group, and we’re looking for more people to be involved! For more information, please send an inquiry to one of the co-chairs:

2016 Workshop: "Preparing Wisconsin's Plant Communities for an Uncertain Future"

The WICCI Plants and Natural Communities Working Group held a two-day workshop in Madison on September 22-23, 2016. Over 80 people from all over Wisconsin attended, bringing diverse backgrounds spanning research, management, and policy. Many of the ideas and products generated at the workshop will set the stage for the future work of this working group.
Resources from the workshop are provided below in PDF format.

If you have questions about these materials, or would like to receive them in an alternate format, please contact Amy Staffen.

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments (CCVAs)

Climate change may bring higher temperatures, variable precipitation, and more frequent and intense storms. These vulnerability assessments (PDFs) provide a broad summary of potential impacts of climate change, and may provide a foundation for adaptation planning in the face of an uncertain future. Information is presented in two forms: 1) General fact sheets covering broad natural community groups; and 2) Technical bulletins for individual natural communities.

Methods for the assessments:

Broad community group fact sheets

Technical bulletins for individual natural communities*


*For northern forested communities, please refer to related forest types in Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis for northern Wisconsin and western Upper Michigan published by the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station.