The History of Vegetation Classification and Mapping in California

Todd Keeler-Wolf

in Terrestrial Vegetation of California, 3rd Edition

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780520249554
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933361 | DOI:
The History of Vegetation Classification and Mapping in California

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This chapter discusses the history and development of mapping and classification of vegetation, first describing early mapping efforts of California's vegetation in the late 1800s and in the early 1900s. It then describes the advances in mapping and classification of vegetation that took place in California. For vegetation mapping, these include the use of satellite-based remote sensing techniques by the U.S. Forest Service Remote Sensing Lab in Sacramento and the development of detailed maps based on the interplay of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis, air-photo interpretation, and extensive field checking. The Manual of California Vegetation (MCV) heralded an increased focus on quantitative descriptive techniques, which led to the current standardized state, national, and international vegetation classification systems. Today, field-based vegetation sampling and the classification scheme is integrated with a detailed GIS-based map of the vegetation using the new standards for quantification of vegetation set forth in the MCV and the National Vegetation Classification system.

Keywords: vegetation mapping; Remote Sensing Lab; Geographic Information Systems; MCV; vegetation classification; vegetation sampling; National Vegetation Classification

Chapter.  26041 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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