- Determine and describe the character and distribution of the (major) historic native plant communities in the southern U.S. Define "native plant communities"
- Ascertain the indigenous structure, composition and historical change of the major native plant communities of the region.
- Evaluate how changes in native forest structural attributes, plant species composition, and landscape distribution patterns have changed native plant community dynamics and plant species diversity.
- Measure changes in plant biodiversity in various ecological regions.
- Evaluate the effects of anthropogenic influences (fire regimes and exotic species) on native plant communities.
- Determine the probable future of plant communities in the South if current trends continue.
- Evaluate the contributions of cooperative conservation efforts on plant communities.
- Address the effects of exotic species on habitats.
- Evaluate the role that various forest types and successional stages (including monotypic stands) play in providing native plant habitats.