Mixed Spruce Swamp Forest. Photo by Patricia Swain, NHESP.
Mixed Spruce Swamp Forest. Photo by Patricia Swain, NHESP.

The classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts was written in order to provide a basis for discussing and conserving the diversity of our types of natural communities and the species they support. The primary aim is to describe the natural communities of conservation interest, while also including all the types in the state.

This classification divides natural community types into three major sections: Terrestrial, Palustrine, and Estuarine. Because of the total size of the classification document, each community type is available individually. An additional section with the Introduction, overall Table of Contents, and References is included separately. The classification is provided as PDF files. To view these files you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

The preferred citation for the Classification of the Natural Communities of Massachusetts is:

Swain, P.C. and J.B. Kearsley. 2011. Classification of the Natural Communities of Massachusetts. Version 1.4. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. URL: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html#


Table of Contents, Introduction, and References pdf format of Table of Contents, Introduction, and References
file size 1MB
Appendices, Lists of Community Types with Rank by Rank pdf format of Appendices, Lists of Community Types with Rank by Rank
Terrestrial, Palustrine, and Estuarine Community Types