The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has a new agreement with the US Geological Survey to support a pilot project in which regional vegetation data will be analyzed to develop a proposal for new types to be inducted into the US National Vegetation Classification (USNVC); this pilot will develop a peer review process that can be used for future proposed changes to the USNVC. Several members of the ESA Panel on Vegetation Classification will to working on this project, including Dr. Robert Peet at UNC-Chapel Hill and Don Faber-Langendoen at NatureServe.
This pilot project will involve conducting analyses to identify new types and perform modifications to types currently described in the USNVC, ensuring the data used in the analysis is placed into VegBank (www.vegbank.org), the Panel’s public and permanent plot archive, managing the peer review process, and reporting the decisions made, process used, and recommendations for a formalized peer review process for the USNVC.
The first planning teleconference meeting for this project was held on September 26th, 2012. Two sections of Robert Peet’s southeast dataset on longleaf pine were selected for the project. The team is still in the process of cleaning up the data and finalizing the analysis. The first round of proposed changes to these types is scheduled to be completed by mid-May 2013, and the peer review process will begin immediately after the submittal of that work.
The ESA Panel was very active at the ESA meeting in Portland, OR (August 5-10, 2012). Below are some links to the various activities and sessions that the Vegetation Classification Panel organized, including a workshop, field trip, symposium, and exhibit hall booth:
This workshop addressed different techniques of sample allocation and covered the process and strategy for implementing a vegetation sampling strategy using the National Vegetation Classification.
This field trip addressed effective methods of selecting vegetation sampling locations in a natural landscape. It accompanied the half day workshop on vegetation sample allocation above, and was very well-attended. The workshop achieved its objective to demonstrate the interaction of existing field data, GIS-based allocation, and follow-up opportunistic sampling to develop a representative landscape-level approach to sampling vegetation in a natural landscape.
This symposium was very popular at the meeting and brought together scholars who confront a wide range of data showing change in vegetation.
Booth on the NVC and Vegbank in the Exhibit Hall
Panel members staffed the booth, where attendees were able to learn more about the NVC and get help with adding their data to VegBank.
Members of the ESA Vegetation Classification Panel conducted a one-day workshop on the US National Vegetation Classification (NVC) on March 20th at the Denver Federal Center. The workshop was aimed at midcareer federal agency managers and provided an open forum for participants to discuss the NVC’s uses and challenges. Panel members were also able to present case studies demonstrating how the NVC can help a variety of federal agencies meet their business needs. The thirty-five attendees represented a variety of agencies and groups, including: the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service, Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML), National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).