Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Plant Science

First Advisor

George R. Hoffman


A land-classification system based on potential natural vegetation is presented for the Grand River/Cedar River, Sioux, and Ashland Districts of the Custer National Forest. The districts are located in northwestern South Dakota, southwestern North Dakota, and southeastern Montana. The vegetation was characterized according to habitat type based on concepts and methods developed by Daubenmire. A total of 169 stands were intensively sampled over a four-year period. Twenty-six habitat types were described including eight steppe, nine shrub-steppe, four woodland, and five forested habitat types. In addition, two shrub-steppe community types were identified. A diagnostic key is provided for field identification of the habitat types based on indicator species used in development of the classification. Vegetation composition, distribution, and environment of each habitat type are described in the text. Tables are provided for detailed comparison. A discussion on the validation of the habitat type classification, species richness, and management implications for natural resources is provided.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Vegetation classification -- Custer National Forest (Mont. and S.D.)
Ecological surveys -- Custer National Forest (Mont. and S.D.)




South Dakota State University