Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Floristic Quality Assessment
Plant Communities of North Dakota,
South Dakota (excluding the Black Hills),
and Adjacent Grasslands
The Northern Great Plains Floristic Quality Assessment Panel
Abstract: Floristic quality assessment can be used to identify
natural areas, to facilitate comparisons among different sites, to provide long-term
monitoring of natural area quality, and to evaluate habitat management and restoration
efforts. To facilitate the use of floristic quality assessment in North Dakota,
South Dakota (excluding the Black Hills), and adjacent grasslands, we developed
a species list and assigned coefficients of conservatism (C values; range =
0 to 10) to each plant species in the region's flora. The C values we assigned
represent our collective knowledge of the patterns of occurrence of each plant
species in the Dakotas and our confidence that a particular taxon is natural
area dependent. Because state boundaries usually do not follow ecological boundaries,
the C values we assigned should be equally valid in nearby areas with the same
vegetation types. Of the 1,584 taxa we recognized in this effort, 275 (18%)
were determined to be non-native to the region. We assigned C values of 4 or
higher to 77% of our native taxa and the entire native flora had a mean C value
() of 6.1. A floristic quality index
(FQI) can be calculated to rank sites in order of their floristic quality. By
applying the coefficients of conservatism supplied here and calculating
and FQI, an effective means of evaluating the quality of plant communities can
be obtained. Additionally, by repeating plant surveys and calculations of
and FQI over time, temporal changes in floristic quality can be identified.
Key Words: floristic quality assessment, native plants, natural
area assessment, natural area monitoring, plant community evaluation, restoration
evaluation, plant species checklist
This resource should be cited as:
Northern Great Plains Floristic Quality Assessment Panel. 2001.
Floristic quality assessment for plant communities of North Dakota,
South Dakota (excluding the Black Hills), and adjacent grasslands.
Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
Table of Contents
Tables and Figures
- Table 1 -- Plant species characteristic
of coefficients of conservatism (C values) ranging from 0 to 10.
- Figure 1 -- Distribution of the native
plant taxa occurring in the Dakotas by coefficient of conservatism designation.
- Figure 2 -- Distribution of native and
non-native plant taxa occurring in the Dakotas by physiognomic class.
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(118K) -- Floristic Quality Assessment for Plant Communities of North
Dakota, South Dakota (excluding the Black Hills), and Adjacent Grasslands
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