Yellowstone’s wetlands include lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, seeps, marshes, fens, wet meadows, forested wetlands, and hydrothermal pools. They occupy over 357 square miles (924 km2) of Yellowstone: 44% are lakes and ponds larger than 20 acres or having water deeper than 6.6 feet at low water; 4% are rivers and streams; 52% are shallow water systems that dry up most years. Approximately 38% of park’s plant species—including half of the rare plants—are associated with wetlands and 11% grow only in wetlands. Wetlands provide essential habitat for Yellowstone’s rare plants, thermal species, reptiles and amphibians, and for numerous insects, birds and fish.
Vegetation & Resources Management Branch
Park employees who inventory, monitor, manage, and research the vast array of plant communities in the park.
Hydrothermal Plant Communities
Fascinating and unique plant communities have developed in the expanses of thermally heated ground.
Spring is a time for plant growth, fueling the return of many migratory species.
Last updated: October 30, 2020