Woman measuring a tree trunk
A tree's diameter is a basic piece of monitoring information.


Forest vegetation is the foundation of the terrestrial food web. It not only drives other aspects of the terrestrial ecosystem, but can also reflect the health of the larger ecosystem. By monitoring forest health, we also learn about climate, soils, and disturbance, as well as the effects of browsing and exotic species invasion. Characteristics of forest health can also help us understand dynamics of various wildlife species.

Long-term Monitoring

Forests are the dominant vegetation type in the Great Lakes Network national parks, so this protocol focuses on forested communities. Because of the strong ties between forest and ecosystem health, this also helps us understand the impacts of forest pests and pathogens, white-tailed deer, and changes in patterns of natural disturbance, such as more intense wind storms or fire suppression.

Our partner:

Northland College

Learn More

Briefs provide a one- or two-page overview of the latest findings and what they mean. Monitoring reports are in-depth technical reports that include data analyses and possibly management recommendations.


Source: Data Store Saved Search 397. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Monitoring Reports

Source: Data Store Saved Search 413. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Monitoring Protocol

Protocol documents detail precisely how monitoring is carried out.

Sanders S and Grochowski J. 2014. Forest vegetation monitoring protocol version 2.0: Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network. Natural Resource Report. NPS/GLKN/NRR—2014/799. National Park Service. Fort Collins, Colorado.

Last updated: August 20, 2018