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Plant Biodiversity Hotspots

The 2015 habitat mapping effort generated a lot of information on plant communities throughout the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern (LGBFR AOC); however, most field visits were short, and only the major habitat type and dominant plants were recorded at each location. Therefore, the UW-Green Bay project team launched a second field effort in July 2016, in which they commissioned UW-Green Bay’s Gary A. Fewless Herbarium Curator, Dr. James Horn, to conduct more detailed plant surveys in high quality areas.

Horn described “plant biodiversity hotspots” that are generally of high quality (i.e., high native plant diversity) and also recorded comprehensive lists of plants that were present at each site that he and his team visited. Information collected from both the 2015 habitat mapping and 2016 detailed plant surveys provided greatly needed, baseline information on available fish and wildlife habitat within the LGBFR AOC that will ultimately assist with restoration efforts in the future.

After visiting nearly all available habitat in the AOC in 2015, Howe, Wolf, and Giese gained a general sense of which areas contain (or potentially contain) high quality habitat that are worth protecting and restoring. The UW-Green Bay project team instructed Horn and two UW-Green Bay students to visit and catalog 27 of the higher quality “priority areas,” for which they wanted more detailed plant information.

Calamagrostis canadensis meadow
Man digging in grass

The raw plant biodiversity hotspot data are available for download here (read "About" tab in file first and detailed field methods).

If you plan to use these data, please contact Erin Giese (, Robert Howe (, and Amy Wolf ( to track data usage, properly cite their work, and ask questions if needed.