Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Classification and description of world formation types

Author(s):

D. Faber-Langendoen
T. Keeler-Wolf
D. Meidinger
C. Josse
A. Weakley
D. Tart
G. Navarro
B. Hoagland
S. Ponomarenko
G. Fults

Year:

2016

Publication type:

General Technical Report (GTR)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Source:

Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-346. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 222 p.

Description

An ecological vegetation classification approach has been developed in which a combination of vegetation attributes (physiognomy, structure, and floristics) and their response to ecological and biogeographic factors are used as the basis for classifying vegetation types. This approach can help support international, national, and subnational classification efforts. The classification structure was largely developed by the Hierarchy Revisions Working Group (HRWG), which contained members from across the Americas. The HRWG was authorized by the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) to develop a revised global vegetation classification to replace the earlier versions of the structure that guided the U.S. National Vegetation Classification and International Vegetation Classification, which formerly relied on the UNESCO (1973) global classification (see FGDC 1997; Grossman and others 1998). This document summarizes the development of the upper formation levels. We first describe the history of the Hierarchy Revisions Working Group and discuss the three main parameters that guide the classification - it focuses on vegetated parts of the globe, on existing vegetation, and includes (but distinguishes) both cultural and natural vegetation for which parallel hierarchies are provided. Part I of the report provides an introduction to the overall classification, focusing on the upper formation levels. Part II provides a description for each type, following a standardized template format. These descriptions are a first preliminary effort at global descriptions for formation types, and are provided to give some guidance to our concepts.

Citation

Faber-Langendoen, D.; Keeler-Wolf, T.; Meidinger, D.; Josse, C.; Weakley, A.; Tart, D.; Navarro, G.; Hoagland, B.; Ponomarenko, S.; Fults, G.; Helmer, E. 2016. Classification and description of world formation types. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-346. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 222 p.

Cited

Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/52217