Native Plant Trust

Plant Diversity Report

Conserving Plant Diversity across the Region

A new report by Native Plant Trust and The Nature Conservancy sets goals for land protection to ensure plant diversity as the climate changes.

Conserving Plant Diversity in New England is a groundbreaking new report resulting from a two-year collaboration between Native Plant Trust and The Nature Conservancy. The report provides a scientific framework and detailed roadmap for conservation action and land protection at the species, habitat, and parcel scales that will save plant diversity—and thus overall biodiversity—in New England as the climate changes. 

The report analyzes whether more than a century of conservation has protected enough land in the right places to save the region’s plant diversity. It concludes that we need to conserve another 2.3 million acres of climate-resilient land in specific habitats, and it identifies which areas are priorities in each of the six New England states.

For the first time, this report delineates 234 Important Plant Areas containing exceptionally high rare plant diversity and then examines how much of those areas and each of the region’s 43 primary habitats are:

  • protected for nature and natural processes
  • secured from conversion to another land use, but open to activities like logging and mining
  • threatened by development 
  • resilient to climate change. 

The results are measured against important benchmarks in the U.N.’s Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and in the Global Deal for Nature. The latter calls for protecting 30 percent of the world’s ecosystems by 2030 and is the basis for the worldwide “30 by 30” initiative recently embraced by the Biden administration. 

Combined with a robust mapping tool, this technical report gives policy makers, federal and state agencies, and land trusts in each state the detailed information needed to most effectively spend their conservation dollars.

In the box below are links to the full report, executive summary, each of the three main divisions of the report, and state summaries. 

The Report by Section

Here you may read or download a PDF of each major section of the report. Links to the mapping tool are embedded in the documents, especially Part Two.