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National Vegetation Classification

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LANDFIRE's (LF) Existing Vegetation Type National Vegetation Classification (NVC), an existing vegetation layer created with a new mapping process and delivered as a separate spatial data layer for the first time with LF 2016 Remap, represents the current distribution of vegetation groups within the U.S. National Vegetation Classification circa 2016. These groups are defined as combinations of relatively narrow sets of diagnostic plant species, including dominants and co-dominants, broadly similar composition, and diagnostic growth forms. LF Remap used U.S. NVC 2.0 to map LF NVC.

The LF NVC product also includes ruderal or semi-natural vegetation types. The LF Ruderal NVC Groups Descriptions for CONUS provides descriptions for each ruderal NVC Group including species, distribution, and classification information.

NVC groups were initially mapped using decision tree models informed by field reference data, Landsat imagery, elevation/topographic, and biophysical gradient inputs.

  • Decision tree models were developed separately for each life-form including tree, shrub, herbaceous, and sparse vegetation.
  • Disturbance products were included in LF Remap products to describe areas on the landscape that have experienced change within the previous 10-year period.
  • LF NVC was reconciled through QA/QC measures to ensure lifeform is synchronized with both Existing Vegetation Cover and Existing Vegetation Height.
  • When modeled results were poor for modeled NVC classes, rectification and/or cross-walking from existing ancillary datasets or Ecological Systems was performed to improve the quality of the product.

LF 2016 Remap for Alaska (AK) includes a 90-kilometer buffer along the 1,500 miles of the eastern and southern borders AK shares with Canada.

LF Remap Auto-Keys: Learn about the redesign of the Auto-Keys process, which is used to determine existing vegetation type classification based on plot data in the LFRDB — Developing Auto-Keys for LF Vegetation Mapping: 2014-2015 CONUS Project Report.

LF uses an assessment process that compares the EVT product for a pixel with the Auto-Key EVT assignment for a sample plot contained in that pixel. NVC is part of the assessment. Agreement assessments have has been developed for each LF Remap CONUS GeoArea

NVC will not be produced for LF 2020 Update.

Product availability
Attribute Data Dictionary (LF 2.0.0)PDF

Comma separated value (CSV) files can be found in the LF Library.

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NVC example
Northwest region - LF 2016 Remap NVC

Key NVC Attributes
VALUE National Vegetation Classification not Ecological System
NVC_NAME  Class name in the LANDFIRE NVC legend
LFRDB  Code stored in the LFRDB
LF_LIFEFORM_PRIMARY  Primary lifeform
NVC_CLASS  Class code in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy
NVC_SUBCLASS  Subclass code in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy
NVC_FORMATION  Formation code in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy
NVC_DIVISION  Division code in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy
CLASS  Class name in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy
SUBCLASS  Subclass name in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy
FORMATION Formation name in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy
DIVISION_CODE  Division code in the USNVC Vegetation database
DIVISION  Division name in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy
MACROGROUP_CODE  Macrogroup code in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy
MACROGROUP  Macrogroup name in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy
GROUP_CODE  Group code in the USNVC Vegetation database
GROUP  Group name in the USNVC Vegetation hierarchy

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