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NATURAL HERITAGE NEW MEXICO is a division of the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico.
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  Plant Community
  Ecology Links

Plant Community Research, Assessment, Monitoring, and Mapping

NHNM community ecologists assess the status of biodiversity, past, present, and projected. Plant communities are monitored using a set of scientifically sound protocols developed over a decade of field studies.

Examples of projects:


  • Fire history of piñon-juniper woodlands of the Oscura Mountains (Department of Defense).
  • Historical vegetation of the Borderlands Ecosystem Area (United States Forest Service, Private).
  • Post-Fire Studies in the Organ Mountains (Department of Defense).


  • Diversity assessment and classification of playa vegetation (NM Environment Department, EPA).
  • GIS and field assessment of biodiversity, Los Alamos National Laboratory (DOE).
  • Handbook of Wetland Vegetation Communities for New Mexico. (NM Environment Department, EPA).


  • Plant and invertebrate biodiversity in native and non-native vegetation on river bars, middle Rio Grande (United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation).
  • Riparian assessment and monitoring, the Ladder Ranch (Turner Foundation).
  • Riparian monitoring for livestock impacts, Pecos River (Bureau of Land Management).
  • Vegetation monitoring of two riparian restoration projects, middle Rio Grande (United States Fish and Wildlife Service, BoR, Santa Ana Pueblo).

Vegetation Mapping

Using the most recent technologies of remote sensing and GIS, NHNM produces vegetation maps and vegetation classifications over a wide range of scales.

Some examples:

  • Borderlands Ecosystem Management Area, NM and AZ (United States Forest Service & Private)
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM (National Park Service)
  • Fort Bliss, NM and TX (Department of Defense)
  • Holloman AFB, NM (Department of Defense)
  • Maxwell and Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuges, NM (United States Fish and Wildlife Service)
  • Map and biodiversity assessment of Dead Horse Mountains, TX and Sierra del Carmens, Mexico (National Park Service/United States Geological Survey)
  • Post-Fire Map of Organ Mountains, NM (Department of Defense)
  • Riparian Communities of Pecos National Historicak Park, NM (National Park Service)
  • White Sands Missile Range (Department of Defense)
  • White Sands National Monument, NM (National Park Service)

For more information please contact Esteban Muldavin, Ph.D., Ecology Coordinator.

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