Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
General classification handbook for floodplain vegetation in large river systems (ver. 2.0, November 2015)
Dieck, J.J., Ruhser, Janis, Hoy, Erin, and Robinson, L.R., 2015, General classification handbook for floodplain vegetation in large river systems (ver. 2.0, November 2015): U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 2, chap. A1, 51 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/tm2A1.
The handbook describes the General Wetland Vegetation Classification System developed as part of the LTRM element. The classification system consists of 31 general map classes and has been used to create systemic vegetation data layers throughout the diverse Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS). In addition, the handbook describes the evolution of the General Wetland Vegetation Classification System, discusses the process of creating a vegetation data layer, and describes each of the 31 map classes in detail. The handbook also acts as a pictorial guide to each of the map classes as they may appear in the field, as well as on color-infrared imagery. This version is an update to the original handbook published in 2004.
The classification of UMRS vegetation has evolved over time in response to partner-agency and data-interpreter feed-back. The classification currently in use is a 2-tiered design that contains 151 genus-based classes, which collapse into the 31 general map classes that are the focus of this handbook. This system was designed to be easily applied by interpreters and easily understood by resource managers. This classification has been in use since the 2000 UMRS mapping effort. The tiered classification approach allows for mapping at different scales and with different needs—a hydrology-based, genus-level classification for focused studies that collapses into broader categories for larger studies while maintaining the hydrologic distinctiveness of the detailed classes.