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Natural Heritage Elements - Community level


                 This level consists of four elements: natural communities, wetlands, riparian habitats, and vernal pools. The classification of natural communities helps biologists to locate and understand their distribution, which ultimately helps protect and conserve many native species and ecosystem processes. Although wetlands and vernal pools are classified as natural communities, they are so critical for wildlife habitat that they merit separate discussion. Riparian habitats consist of upland, wetland, and aquatic communities that together provide many functions, including maintaining water quality, providing shade to keep trout streams cool, serving as travel corridors for animals, and providing specialized habitat for plants and animals.    

Community level natural heritage elements include: 

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