Natural Communities-Overview

  • Michigan's Natural Communities The document includes all natural communities for which locations have been recorded in MNFI's Biological and Conservation Datasystem. Data include: scientific name, state rank and global rank for each element, as well as a brief overview and further information, such as dominant plants, for each community.
  • Michigan's Vegetation circa 1800 Between 1816 and 1856, the lands of Michigan were surveyed by the federal General Land Office. The detailed notes taken by the land surveyors have proven to be useful in describing Michigan's natural landscape as it appeared prior to intensive lumbering and later agricultural or urban development.
  • Michigan's Geological Landscape The shaping of Michigan's geological landscape began more than one million years ago, during the great Ice Age. The landscape left when the glaciers retreated and the plants that colonized those areas formed the beginnings of the natural communities now found in Michigan.
  • Indicator Species Indicator species are used as a standard in identifying similar communities. They are often the most conspicuous and abundant plant and animal species in an area.