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Classifying Forest Habitat Types Based on Potential Climax Vegetation

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The authors describe methods for classifying forest habitat types based on potential climax vegetation. Reconnaissance plots are inventoried on road or trail transects; plots are located subjectively (but without bias) and are selected to represent the spectrum of environments supporting mature forest communities. Essential quantitative data are obtained using simple, time-efficient procedures, including estimation of canopy-coverage classes for all vegetation. Analysis proceeds through a series of successive approximations utilizing synthesis tables, ordinations, environmental-data correlations, and field-testing of the preliminary classification. Content and format of the final classification are discussed. The classification system was developed during extensive habitat type classification studies in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. Similar approaches are being used in many forested areas of western North America. Forest Sci. 26:52-70.
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Keywords: Vegetation classification; ecosystem classification; synecology; syntaxonomy

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Plant Ecologist, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ogden, Utah 84401

Publication date: 1980-03-01

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    Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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