Vegetation Inventory and Map for Indiana Dunes National Park

Dunes at Portage Lakefront

NPS Photo


The Indiana Dunes National Park provides habitat for approximately 1,130 native vascular plants, including the federally threatened Pitcher’s thistle. The lakeshore is home to populations of 30% of Indiana’s listed rare, threatened, endangered, and special concern plant species. Shaped by glacial events and changing climates, the dunes landscape contains disjunct flora representative of eastern deciduous forests, boreal forest remnants, and species with Atlantic coast affinities. In addition, the national park is part of the upper- and eastern-most limits of the tallgrass prairie peninsula and supports high quality remnants of this ever-diminishing vegetation type. The presence of many unique dune and wetland plant community types has led to a long history of botanical exploration and research.

The Indiana Dunes National Park Vegetation Inventory Project delivers many geospatial and vegetation data products, including an in-depth project report discussing methods and results, which include descriptions to vegetation associations, field keys to vegetation associations, map classification, and map-class descriptions. The suite of products also includes a database of vegetation plots, and accuracy assessment (AA) sites; digital images of field sites; digital aerial imagery; digital maps; a contingency table listing AA results; and a geodatabase of vegetation, field sites (vegetation plots, and AA sites), aerial imagery, project boundary, and metadata.


The products of vegetation mapping projects are stored and managed in the National Park Service's Data Store, a repository for documents and publications relating to park resources. From the highlighted items below, click on the type of information you are looking for.

Last updated: January 19, 2023