Landscape Processes

The National Park Service is mandated to preserve, protect, and manage biological resources and related ecosystem processes to maintain ecosystem integrity. An essential component of this mission is vital signs monitoring, a national effort in cooperation with other federal and state agencies to determine trends in the condition of natural resources. The following are vital signs and other ecological processes for which we currently have information. They include ecosystem drivers, the major forces that create and modify our parks and operate at regional, continental, or even global scales with cascading effects for virtually all other park resources.