The ESA Panel on Vegetation Classification provides impartial scientific expertise to agencies and partners, and represents the expertise of professional ecologists spanning academic, agency, and non-governmental sectors. The Panel’s mission is to develop the standards for the US National Vegetation Classification (USNVC), including standards for plot-based survey methods and databases, and develop and maintain a dynamic approach to revising the classification based on peer-review.



Developing the NVC

The U.S. National Vegetation Classification is a national framework organized around ecological principles for the study of plant communities. It is the first dynamic classification, designed to adapt as new ecological knowledge becomes available. The ESA Panel on Vegetation Classification has worked to ensure the scientific rigor of the classification and facilitate its development, collaborating with other organizations and agencies in the USNVC Partnership.


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

VegBank provides reliable data storage and sharing; a comprehensive search function; a user-friendly interface that enables meta-analysis; and integration with vegetation type and plant taxon databases.