The Alaska vegetation classification presented here is a comprehensive, statewide system that has been under development since 1976. The classification is based, as much as possible, on the characteristics of the vegetation itself and is designed to categorize existing vegetation, not potential vegetation. A hierarchical system with five levels of resolution is used for classifying Alaska vegetation. The system, an agglomerative one, starts with 888 known Alaska plant communities, which are listed and referenced. At the broadest level of resolution, the system contains three formations-forest, scrub, and herbaceous vegetation. In addition to the classification, this report contains a key to levels I, II, and III; complete descriptions of all level IV units; and a glossary of terms used.
Viereck, L.A.; Dyrness, C.T.; Batten, A.R.; Wenzlick, K.J. 1992. The Alaska vegetation classification. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-286. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 278 p