The mission of the ESA Panel on Vegetation Classification is to develop the standards for a national vegetation classification system, including standards for plot-based survey methods and databases, and a dynamic approach to revising the classification based on peer-review. The Panel maintains a Peer Review Board for the U.S. National Vegetation Classification (NVC) and works in collaboration with the Vegetation Subcommittee of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), NatureServe, and other agencies and organizations.

Development of the NVC

The USNVC was developed through a partnership of the FGDC Vegetation Subcommittee (members include various government agencies [but most notably US Forest Service, National Park Service, and US Geological Society], NatureServe, and the Ecological Society of America Panel on Vegetation Classification). The Subcommittee first developed standards for a national classification (FGDC 2008), the National Vegetation Classification Standard (NVCS) and then built the classification (the USNVC) with the partners.


VegBank is the open-access vegetation plot database of the Ecological Society of America’s Panel on Vegetation Classification.

VegBank provides:

1. Reliable data storage and sharing

2. A comprehensive search function

3. A user-friendly interface that enables meta-analysis

4. Integration with vegetation type and plant taxon databases

Learn more at vegbank.org!