OverviewApostle Islands National Lakeshore provides regionally diverse and unique plant communities. This is due primarily because it lies in the tension zone between the boreal and temperate forests. Thus, the islands and their forests comprise an ecosystem that is unique in North America.
Photointerpreters, ecologists, and botanists collaborated to identify and describe vegetation types within the National Vegetation Classification Standard and to determine how best to map them by using aerial photographs. The team collected 153 vegetation sampling plots within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore project extent. Furthermore, data from 687 accuracy assessment sites were collected of which 673 were used to test the accuracy of the vegetation map layer. These data sets led to the identification of 48 vegetation associations at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.