The National Vegetation Classification (NVC) is an hierarchical classification system of all natural or semi-natural vegetation in the United States widely used by federal and state conservation agencies, NGOs, and practicing vegetation ecologists. The NVC is a process standard, as opposed to a content standard, and employs a peer-review system for development and modification. All proposed additions or modifications require the submission of a monograph with vegetation analyses on publicly available vegetation data. These data currently reside in a multitude of dispersed databases hosted by state and federal agencies, NGOs, and universities. In this workshop participants will learn the skills necessary to (1) query vegetation data from multiple sources, (2) reconcile the synonymy of species identifications in the data into a single commonly accepted system, (3) combine data from multiple strata or ecologically equivalent species, (4) reconcile and standardize environmental data, and (5) prepare the data for analysis in PC-Ord or R. Participants will work hands-on with multiple vegetation data sets selected for this exercise, and learn how to use R, Excel, or Access to reformat, reclassify, and structure the data into files suitable for analysis. We will address ecological issues of plot data quality, variable plot sizes, variability in taxonomic resolution, differing species abundance codes, different systems of landforms, topographic position, and soil properties, among others. Participants will leave the workshop with a full understanding of both the ecological and technical details necessary to work with publicly available data in support of the NVC.
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).