MBS Books and Reports

Native Orchids of Minnesota ( (2012), written by MBS botanist Welby Smith, is an updated and revised edition of the only comprehensive guide to Minnesota orchids, with four new species, two new varieties, new maps, and new illustrations.
Though often considered exotic and rare, orchids can be found across climates and continents–and Minnesota is no exception, with forty-nine wild orchids. Native Orchids of Minnesota features detailed drawings and color photographs that make reliable identification practical even for beginners–a guide and a resource for the serious naturalist, the weekend botanist, and the connoisseur of natural beauty.

Online slideshow

Purchase from University of Minnesota Press This link leads to an external site.

native orchids of Minnesota book cover

Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota ( (2008), written by MBS botanist Welby Smith, provides authoritative, accessible, and up-to-date information on the state's native and naturalized woody plant species. This fully illustrated book features more than one thousand color photographs of fruit, flowers, bark, and leaves for every species, as well as more than one hundred illustrations by botanical artist Vera Ming Wong; more than five hundred distribution maps, including state and North American range maps; and complete descriptions of each species’ habitat, natural history, and ecology. The book is written for everyone from scientists, to teachers, to people interested in horticulture and gardening.

Online slideshow

Purchase from University of Minnesota Press This link leads to an external site.

Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota book cover

Red Lake Peatlands/Patterned Peatlands (poster, 2008) presents a brief overview of the ecology and significance of Minnesota's northern patterned peatlands. Minnesota's northern peatlands are one of the state's most extensive ecosystems and one of the most unusual landscapes in the United States.
Available online This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (9 mb)
Red Lake Peatlands and Patterned Peatlands in Minnesota

Native Plant Communities and Rare Species of the Minnesota River Valley Counties (2007) provides information on the native plant communities and rare species present in the counties along the Minnesota River from its origin in western Minnesota to its confluence with the Mississippi. Many of the most important areas of native habitat in south-central and southwestern Minnesota are within the Minnesota valley, including bluff prairies, fens, floodplain forests, and rock outcrop communities. This report and associated maps are designed for resource managers, local units of government, and citizens interested in land-use planning along the Minnesota River corridor.
Available online This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (34 mb)
Cover of publication Native Plant Communities and Rare Species of the Minnesota River Valley Counties

An Evaluation of the Ecological Significance of the Headwaters Site (2007) by MBS plant ecologists Chel Anderson and Ethan Perry describes the rare natural features of the Headwaters Site in Lake and St. Louis counties and summarizes the conservation actions most relevant for maintaining these features. The 38,000-acre Headwaters Site is at the origin of four rivers, including the St. Louis, and contains some of the most important peatlands and unfragmented upland forest areas in northeastern Minnesota.
Available online
Cover of book: Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota: The Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province.

A Handbook for Collecting Vegetation Plot Data in Minnesota: The Releve Method  (2007) describes the current practices of DNR plant ecologists for collection of vegetation plot data using the releve method. Releves have been widely used in Europe for vegetation description and classification and increasingly are being adopted for vegetation study in North America. The DNR maintains a database containing electronic versions of releves and other very similar kinds of vegetation plot data collected across Minnesota beginning in the 1960s. This handbook supplants the first handbook describing the methods DNR plant ecologists use for collecting releve plot data, A Handbook for Collecting Releve Data in Minnesota, which was compiled by J. C. Almendinger in 1987.
Booklet Version This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. Formatted to print double-sided, horizontally on 8.5" x 11" paper, fold in half, and staple along the spine to make a 5.5" x 8.5" booklet.
Single-Page Version This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. Formatted for electronic viewing, one page per sheet.
More online
Cover of book: Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota: The Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province.

An Evaluation of the Ecological Significance of Ninemile Lakes & Ridges Area (2006) by MBS plant ecologist Michael Lee describes the rare natural features of the Ninemile Lakes and Ridges Area in Lake County and summarizes the conservation actions most relevant for maintaining these features. The scenic and rugged 10,000-acre Ninemile Lakes and Ridges Area has undeveloped lakes, numerous rare plants, and large blocks of old-growth forest.
Available online
Cover of report: Evaluation of the Ecological Significance of Ninemile Lakes & Ridges Area.

Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota: The Prairie Parkland and Tallgrass Aspen Parklands Provinces (2005) is part of a three-volume series intended to promote better understanding of the patterns and processes that characterize and influence Minnesota’s vegetation. This field guide contains keys for the identification of native plant communities in the Prairie Parkland and Tallgrass Aspen Parklands provinces of northwestern Minnesota, and fact sheets with information on community composition and structure, landscape setting, soils, and natural history. Summaries of ecological systems highlight the ecological processes that shape the vegetation of the region. The field guide is intended for anyone interested in the variety and ecology of Minnesota’s native vegetation. The hierarchical construction of the plant community classification and its linkage to ecological map units are specifically designed to meet the needs of land managers, field surveyors, and researchers working at a variety of scales.
Online
Purchase from Minnesota's Bookstore This link leads to an external site.
Order form This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it..
Cover of book: Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota: The Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province.

Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota: The Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province (2005) is part of a three-volume series intended to promote better understanding of the patterns and processes that characterize and influence Minnesota’s vegetation. This field guide contains keys for the identification of native plant communities in the Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province of central and southeastern Minnesota, and fact sheets with information on community composition and structure, landscape setting, soils, and natural history. Summaries of ecological systems highlight the ecological processes that shape the vegetation of the region. The field guide is intended for anyone interested in the variety and ecology of Minnesota’s native vegetation. The hierarchical construction of the plant community classification and its linkage to ecological map units are specifically designed to meet the needs of land managers, field surveyors, and researchers working at a variety of scales.
Online
Purchase from Minnesota's Bookstore This link leads to an external site.
Order form This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it..
Cover of book: Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota: The Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province.

Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota: The Laurentian Mixed Forest Province (2003) is part of a three-volume series intended to promote better understanding of the patterns and processes that characterize and influence Minnesota’s vegetation. This field guide contains keys for the identification of native plant communities in the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province of northern Minnesota, and fact sheets with information on community composition and structure, landscape setting, soils, and natural history. Summaries of ecological systems highlight the ecological processes that shape the vegetation of the region. The field guide is intended for anyone interested in the variety and ecology of Minnesota’s native vegetation. The hierarchical construction of the plant community classification and its linkage to ecological map units are specifically designed to meet the needs of land managers, field surveyors, and researchers working at a variety of scales.
Online
Purchase from Minnesota's Bookstore This link leads to an external site.
Order form This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it..
Cover of book: Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota: The Laurentian Mixed Forest Province.

County Atlas of Minnesota Mosses (2000), produced by bryologist Joannes A. Janssens and MCBS, provides statewide distribution information for 358 of Minnesota’s moss species and varieties, including maps and a brief discussion of the world distribution of Minnesota’s moss species.
Online
A Guide to Minnesota's Scientific and Natural Areas.

Minnesota's Bearing Tree Database (1996)describes the DNR's database of the bearing-tree records collected in Minnesota by public land surveyors. This report also provides information on the use of these data for study of the vegetation present in Minnesota at the time of the Public Land Surveys (1847–1908). 23 pg. booklet.
Download (184KB) This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.
A Guide to the Bearing Tree database.

Minnesota's St. Croix River Valley and Anoka Sandplain: a Guide to Native Habitats (1995) by MBS plant ecologists Daniel Wovcha and Barbara Delaney and mammalogist Gerda Nordquist provides detailed accounts of the native plant communities in the St. Croix River Valley and Anoka Sandplain region of east-central Minnesota, including descriptive text, photographs, line drawings, distribution maps, and lists of characteristic plants and animals. The book also presents a detailed history of the landscape of the region from the glacial age to the present, and a guide to 35 sites where readers can go to explore the region’s native habitats. (Note: this book is out of print, but possibly available in local libraries or for purchase through the University of Minnesota Press)
OUT OF PRINT
Minnesota's St. Croix River Valley and Anoka Sandplain: a Guide to Native Habitats

Minnesota's Native Vegetation: A Key to Natural Communities, Version 1.5 (1993)describes the plant community classification used by the Minnesota Biological Survey and the DNR’s Natural Heritage Program from ca. 1990 to 2003. This classification is now obsolete but the publication describing it is made available here for archival purposes. For information on the native plant community classification currently used by the DNR, see the three volumes above in the series Field Guides to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota.
Download (184KB) This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.
cover of native vegetation publication version1.5

Natural Vegetation of Minnesota at the Time of the Public Land Survey 1847-1907 (1988) is a brief overview of the major vegetation types present in Minnesota’s prairie, deciduous forest, and conifer forest regions at the time of the Public Land Surveys from the mid-1800s to early 1900s. This brochure includes a simplified version of Francis J. Marschner’s map of Minnesota’s vegetation based on Public Land Survey records.
Download This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.
cover of pamphlet Natural Vegetation of Minnsota at the Time of the Public Land Survey

Articles

Rock Pools on the Prairie This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (6.5mb) (Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, March-April 2009) by MBS plant ecologist Fred Harris describes his finds while surveying the rock outcrop pools of southwestern Minnesota. These outcrop pools form in depressions in ancient bedrock on the Prairie Coteau and along the Minnesota River Valley. The pools are home to 15 of Minnesota?s rarest plant species, including the elusive pigmyweed (Crassula aquatica) and the mud plantain (Heteranthera limosa), which Harris calls "the holy grail of outcrop plants."

Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (1.3mb) (Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, March-April 2009) by MBS ornithologist Steve Stucker is a short profile of the habits and status of this tiny bird, which has been declining across its breeding range since 1990. Minnesota is a stronghold for golden-winged warblers with an estimated 42 percent of the species' global breeding population. Stucker was also interviewed for Join Minnesota's Biggest Bird Count in the March-April 2009 issue of the Conservation Volunteer.

Mapping Home Ground This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (5.8mb) (Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, November-December 2008) is an essay by Nancy Sather on how growing up in the prairie-forest border landscape of northwestern Minnesota influenced her later work surveying the region as an MCBS plant ecologist.

Wildly Adaptable Trees This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (4.8mb) (Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, September-October 2008) by MBS botanist Welby Smith (with Jan Wolff) looks at the adaptive traits of several of Minnesota's prominent tree species and the ways in which these trees have responded to changes in the ecology of the state?s forests over the past 150 years.

Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (1.4mb) (Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, March-April 2008) by MBS ornithologist Steve Stucker describes the appearance, range, habitat, and status of this grassland bird, which has become uncommon in Minnesota because of the widespread loss of Minnesota's native prairies.

A Six-step Approach for Identifying and Prioritizing Potential Research Natural Areas, Superior National Forest (Natural Areas Journal, October 2007), co-authored by MCBS plant ecologist Chel Anderson, details the procedures that MBS has been applying to help target searches for native plant communities and rare plant species in the large forested landscapes of northern Minnesota.

Elusive Orchids This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (3.5mb) (Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, July-August 2007) by MBS plant ecologist Erika Rowe is an account of searching for (and discovering!) new populations of Minnesota's tiniest orchid, bog adder's-mouth (Malaxis paludosa). In the summers of 2005 and 2006, Rowe and fellow MBS plant ecologists Michael Lee and Tim Whitfeld located 12 new populations of this rare plant by searching moss-covered hummocks in forested peatlands in Becker, Clearwater, and Hubbard counties. Only five other locations of the species have been documented in Minnesota.

This information is available in an alternative format upon request. Email the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or call at 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR.