WYNDD (Wyoming Natural Diversity Database) logo over mountain landscape


Our Programs: Ecology

The WYNDD Vegetation Ecology program collects, synthesizes, and distributes information about the vegetation communities and habitat-types of Wyoming. Our work focuses on describing, modeling, and mapping vegetation community composition and structure at landscape to regional scales and on anticipating the impacts of various threats and stressors on vegetation communities. We obtain information through field sampling, remote sensing, existing datasets arising from standardized field inventories, published literature, and unpublished reports and datasets, and apply cutting-edge quantitative modeling approaches to understand patterns in plant communities across scales. Our information is distributed through WYNDD’s database, web applications, project reports, and published scientific manuscripts.

Program highlights

  • Climate change vulnerability assessment of unique ecosystems on the Black Hills National Forest
  • High resolution maps of forest structure modeled from airborne LiDAR and field plots
  • Repositories and maps of groundwater-dependent ecosystems on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and the Bighorn National Forest


  • Ecological and spatial modeling and statistical analysis
  • Forecasting climate change impacts on species and communities
  • Monitoring and projecting plant demography, community dynamics, and range dynamics
  • Ecology of western forest

2024 Program Focus

  • Mapping the composition of all terrestrial plant communities and habitat types across Wyoming, and projecting changes in the location and composition of habitats and communities under future climate
  • Lidar-based forest inventories and high resolution maps of topography and forest structure for large tracts of forests in the Intermountain West
  • Adaptive management modeling of invasive grasses in the Northern Great Plains
  • Mapping and predicting the current and projected future impacts of conifer encroachment, fire, and climate on aspen abundance in western Wyoming
Field with stream and foothills


Find us on Instagram (Link opens a new window)Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)Find us on LinkedIn (Link opens a new window)Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)