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Technical Thematic Report No. 3. - Guidance for the preparation of ESTR products – Land classification scheme for the ecosystem status and trends report

Appendix

Appendix 1. NFI Land Classification Scheme (National Forest Inventory, 2004).
ClassDefinition and Classification Criteria
1. VegetatedTotal cover of trees, shrubs, herbs and bryoids (other than crustose lichens) covers at least 5% of the total surface area of the polygon.
1.1.Treed≥ 10% of the polygon area, by crown cover, consists of tree species of any size.
1.1.1. Wetland(From Fraser et al. (1995) cited in the National Forest Inventory (2004)):
Land having the water table at, near or above the soil surface, or which is saturated for a long enough period of time to promote wetland or aquatic processes. These wetland processed are indicated by the presence of Organic or Gleysolic soils and hydrophytic vegetation.
1.1.1.1 ConiferousTrees classified botanically as Coniferae; cone-bearing trees having needles or scale-like leaves, usually evergreen. These species are commonly referred to as conifer or softwoods.
1.1.1.2. BroadleafTrees classified botanically as Angiospermae in the subclass Dicotyledoneae. These species are commonly referred to as deciduous or hardwoods.
1.1.1.3. MixedThe polygon is classified as Mixed when neither coniferous nor broadleaft trees account for 75% or more of the total tree basal area
1.1.2. UplandA broad class that includes all non-wetland ecosystems that range from very xeric to hygric soil moisture regimes
1.1.2.1. ConiferousTrees classified botanically as Coniferae; cone-bearing trees having needles or scale-like leaves, usually evergreen. These species are commonly referred to as conifer or softwoods.
1.1.2.2. BroadleafTrees classified botanically as Angiospermae in the subclass Dicotyledoneae. These species are commonly referred to as deciduous or hardwoods.
1.1.2.3. MixedThe polygon is classified as Mixed when neither coniferous nor broadleaft trees account for 75% or more of the total tree basal area
1.1.3. AlpineTreeless (for practical purposes < 1% tree cover can be included with the Alpine category), with alpine vegetation dominated by shrubs, herbs, graminoids, bryoids, and lichens. Rock, ice, and snow dominate much of the Alpine. Alpine does not typically include the parkland and krummholz forest types. Alpine is a classification level of Non-Treed areas above the tree line only.
1.1.3.1.ConiferousTrees classified botanically as Coniferae; cone-bearing trees having needles or scale-like leaves, usually evergreen. These species are commonly referred to as conifer or softwoods.
1.1.3.2. BroadleafTrees classified botanically as Angiospermae in the subclass Dicotyledoneae. These species are commonly referred to as deciduous or hardwoods.
1.1.3.3. MixedThe polygon is classified as Mixed when neither coniferous nor broadleaft trees account for 75% or more of the total tree basal area
1.2. Non-treed< 10% of the polygon area consists of tree species of any size (by crown cover).
1.2.1. WetlandSee vegetated-treed
1.2.1.1. ShrubsFor a polygon to be classed as Shrub, it must have a minimum of 10% ground cover of shrubs, or shrubs must constitute >1/3 of the total vegetation cover. Shrubs are defined as woody perennial plants, both evergreen and deciduous, that have a relatively low growth habit, and are generally multi-stemmed, rather than having one bole. They differ from a tree by their low stature (generally < 10m) and non-treelike form.
1.2.1.2. HerbsIf a polygon does not meet the definition of a shrub, then it can be classed as Herb if it has a minimum of 20% ground cover of herbs, or herbs constitute > 1/3 of total vegetation cover. Herbs are defined as vascular plants without a woody stem, including ferns, fern allies, grasses, and grass-like plants
1.2.1.2.1. GraminoidsA Herb polygon is further classified as Graminoid if graminoids account for >50% of the herb cover. Graminoids are defined as herbaceous plants with long, narrow leave characterized by linear venation; including grasses, sedges, rushes and other related species.
1.2.1.2.2. ForbsA Herb polygon is further classified as Forb if forbs account for >50% of the herb cover. Forbs are defined as herbaceous plants other than graminoids, including ferns, club mosses, and horsetails.
1.2.1.3. BryoidsIf a Non-treed polygon does not meet the definition of Shrub or Herb, then it can be classed as Bryoid if it has >50% of the vegetation cover in bryoids, and herb and shrub cover must each constitute < 20%. Bryoids are defined as bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) and lichens (foliose or fruticose; not crustose).
1.2.2. UplandSee vegetated-treed
1.2.2.1. ShrubsFor a polygon to be classed as Shrub, it must have a minimum of 10% ground cover of shrubs, or shrubs must constitute >1/3 of the total vegetation cover. Shrubs are defined as woody perennial plants, both evergreen and deciduous, that have a relatively low growth habit, and are generally multi-stemmed, rather than having one bole. They differ from a tree by their low stature (generally < 10m) and non-treelike form.
1.2.2.2. HerbsIf a polygon does not meet the definition of a shrub, then it can be classed as Herb if it has a minimum of 20% ground cover of herbs, or herbs constitute > 1/3 of total vegetation cover. Herbs are defined as vascular plants without a woody stem, including ferns, fern allies, grasses, and grass-like plants
1.2.2.2.1. GraminoidsA Herb polygon is further classified as Graminoid if graminoids account for >50% of the herb cover. Graminoids are defined as herbaceous plants with long, narrow leave characterized by linear venation; including grasses, sedges, rushes and other related species.
1.2.2.2.2. ForbsA Herb polygon is further classified as Forb if forbs account for >50% of the herb cover. Forbs are defined as herbaceous plants other than graminoids, including ferns, club mosses, and horsetails.
1.2.2.3. BryoidsIf a Non-treed polygon does not meet the definition of Shrub or Herb, then it can be classed as Bryoid if it has >50% of the vegetation cover in bryoids, and herb and shrub cover must each constitute < 20%. Bryoids are defined as bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) and lichens (foliose or fruticose; not crustose).
1.2.3. AlpineSee vegetated-treed
1.2.3.1. ShrubsFor a polygon to be classed as Shrub, it must have a minimum of 10% ground cover of shrubs, or shrubs must constitute >1/3 of the total vegetation cover. Shrubs are defined as woody perennial plants, both evergreen and deciduous, that have a relatively low growth habit, and are generally multi-stemmed, rather than having one bole. They differ from a tree by their low stature (generally < 10m) and non-treelike form.
1.2.3.2. HerbsIf a polygon does not meet the definition of a shrub, then it can be classed as Herb if it has a minimum of 20% ground cover of herbs, or herbs constitute > 1/3 of total vegetation cover. Herbs are defined as vascular plants without a woody stem, including ferns, fern allies, grasses, and grass-like plants
1.2.3.2.1. GraminoidsA Herb polygon is further classified as Graminoid if graminoids account for >50% of the herb cover. Graminoids are defined as herbaceous plants with long, narrow leave characterized by linear venation; including grasses, sedges, rushes and other related species.
1.2.3.2.2. ForbsA Herb polygon is further classified as Forb if forbs account for >50% of the herb cover. Forbs are defined as herbaceous plants other than graminoids, including ferns, club mosses, and horsetails.
1.2.3.3. BryoidsIf a Non-treed polygon does not meet the definition of Shrub or Herb, then it can be classed as Bryoid if it has >50% of the vegetation cover in bryoids, and herb and shrub cover must each constitute < 20%. Bryoids are defined as bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) and lichens (foliose or fruticose; not crustose).
2. Non-vegetatedTotal cover of trees, shrubs, herbs and bryoids is <5% of the total surface area of the polygon. Bodies of water are to be classified as Non-Vegetated.
2.1. Land>50% of the polygon is occupied by land.
2.1.1. WetlandSee vegetated-treed
2.1.1.1. Snow/Ice -
2.1.1.1.1. GlacierA mass of perennial snow and ice with definite lateral limits, typically flowing in a particular direction.
2.1.1.1.2. Snow coverSnow or ice that is not part of a glacier, but is found during summer months on the landscape.
2.1.1.2. Rock/Rubble-
2.1.1.2.1. BedrockUnfragmented, consolidated rock contiguous with the underlying material.
2.1.1.2.2. Rubble, Talus, BlockfieldFragmented rock, broken away from bedrock surface and moved to present place by gravity or ice.
2.1.1.2.3. Rubbly Mine SpoilsDiscarded overburden or waste rock moved to extract ore during a mining operation.
2.1.1.2.4. Lava BedArea where molten rock has flowed from volcano or fissure and cooled and solidified to form rock.
2.1.1.3. Exposed Land -
2.1.1.3.1. River SedimentsSilt, gravel, and sand bars associated with former river channels and present river edges
2.1.1.3.2. Exposed SoilAny exposed soil not covered by the other categories, such as areas of recent disturbance including mud slides, debris torrents, avalanches, or disturbances such as pipeline rights-of-way or cultivated fields, where vegetation cover is < 5%
2.1.1.3.3. Pond or Lake SedimentsExposed sediments related to dried-up lakes or ponds
2.1.1.3.4. Reservoir MarginLand exposed by a drained or fluctuating reservoir It is found above “normal” water levels and may consist of a range of substrates including gravel, cobbles, fine sediments, or bedrock.
2.1.1.3.5. BeachAn area with sorted sediments reworked in recent time by wave actions. It may be formed at the edge of fresh or salt water bodies.
2.1.1.3.6. LandingA compacted area adjacent to a road used for sorting and loading logs
2.1.1.3.7. Burned AreaLand showing evidence of recent burning, either natural or prescribed. Vegetation of < 5% crown cover is present at the time of polygon description.
2.1.1.3.8. Road SurfaceAn area cleared and compacted for the purpose of transporting goods and services by vehicles. Older roads that are used infrequently or not at all may cease to be classified as non-vegetated.
2.1.1.3.9. Mudflat SedimentFlat plain-like areas associated with lakes, ponds, rivers, or streams, dominated by fine-textured sediments. They can be associated with freshwater or estuarine sources.
2.1.1.3.10. CutbankPart of a road corridor created upslope of the road surface by excavation into the hillside. “Natural” forces may also create Cutbanks.
2.1.1.3.11. MoraineAn area of debris transported and deposited by a glacier.
2.1.1.3.12. Gravel or Borrow PitAn area exposed through the removal of sand and gravel.
2.1.1.3.13. TailingsAn area containing the solid waste material produced by the mining and milling of ore.
2.1.1.3.14. Railway SurfaceA roadbed with fixed rails, may contain single or multiple rail lines.
2.1.1.3.15. Buildings and ParkingBuildings and parking: buildings and associated developments such as roads and parking areas.
2.1.1.3.16. AirportA permanently paved or graveled area, and associated buildings and parking, use by airplanes.
2.1.1.3.17. Open pit MineAn exposed area use to extract ore during a mining operation. This may contain associated buildings and any tailing produced by the mining and milling process.
2.1.1.3.18. OtherNone of the other exposed land categories can be reliably chosen.
2.1.2. UplandSee vegetated-treed
2.1.2.1. Snow/Ice -
2.1.2.1.1. GlacierA mass of perennial snow and ice with definite lateral limits, typically flowing in a particular direction.
2.1.2.1.2. Snow coverSnow or ice that is not part of a glacier, but is found during summer months on the landscape.
2.1.2.2. Rock/Rubble -
2.1.2.2.1. BedrockUnfragmented, consolidated rock contiguous with the underlying material.
2.1.2.2.2. Rubble, Talus, BlockfieldFragmented rock, broken away from bedrock surfaces and moved into its present position by gravity or ice.
2.1.2.2.3. Rubbly Mine SpoilsDiscarded overburden or waste rock moved to extract ore during a mining operation.
2.1.2.2.4. Lava BedAn area where molten rock has flowed from a volcano or fissure and cooled and solidified to form rock.
2.1.2.3. Exposed Land -
2.1.2.3.1. River SedimentsSilt, gravel, and sand bars associated with former river channels and present river edges
2.1.2.3.2. Exposed SoilAny exposed soil not covered by the other categories, such as areas of recent disturbance including mud slides, debris torrents, avalanches, or disturbances such as pipeline rights-of-way or cultivated fields, where vegetation cover is < 5%
2.1.2.3.3. Pond or Lake SedimentsExposed sediments related to dried-up lakes or ponds
2.1.2.3.4. Reservoir MarginLand exposed by a drained or fluctuating reservoir It is found above “normal” water levels and may consist of a range of substrates including gravel, cobbles, fine sediments, or bedrock.
2.1.2.3.5. BeachAn area with sorted sediments reworked in recent time by wave actions. It may be formed at the edge of fresh or salt water bodies.
2.1.2.3.6. LandingA compacted area adjacent to a road used for sorting and loading logs
2.1.2.3.7. Burned AreaLand showing evidence of recent burning, either natural or prescribed. Vegetation of < 5% crown cover is present at the time of polygon description.
2.1.2.3.8. Road SurfaceAn area cleared and compacted for the purpose of transporting goods and services by vehicles. Older roads that are used infrequently or not at all may cease to be classified as non-vegetated.
2.1.2.3.9. Mudflat SedimentFlat plain-like areas associated with lakes, ponds, rivers, or streams, dominated by fine-textured sediments. They can be associated with freshwater or estuarine sources.
2.1.2.3.10. CutbankPart of a road corridor created upslope of the road surface by excavation into the hillside. “Natural” forces may also create Cutbanks.
2.1.2.3.11. MoraineAn area of debris transported and deposited by a glacier.
2.1.2.3.12. Gravel or Borrow PitAn area exposed through the removal of sand and gravel.
2.1.2.3.13. TailingsAn area containing the solid waste material produced by the mining and milling of ore.
2.1.2.3.14. Railway SurfaceA roadbed with fixed rails, may contain single or multiple rail lines.
2.1.2.3.15. Buildings and ParkingBuildings and parking: buildings and associated developments such as roads and parking areas.
2.1.2.3.16. AirportA permanently paved or graveled area, and associated buildings and parking, use by airplanes.
2.1.2.3.17. Open pit MineAn exposed area use to extract ore during a mining operation. This may contain associated buildings and any tailing produced by the mining and milling process.
2.1.2.3.18. OtherNone of the other exposed land categories can be reliably chosen.
2.1.3. AlpineSee vegetated-treed
2.1.3.1. Snow/Ice -
2.1.3.1.1. GlacierA mass of perennial snow and ice with definite lateral limits, typically flowing in a particular direction.
2.1.3.1.2. Snow coverSnow or ice that is not part of a glacier, but is found during summer months on the landscape.
2.1.3.2. Rock/Rubble -
2.1.3.2.1. BedrockUnfragmented, consolidated rock contiguous with the underlying material.
2.1.3.2.2. Rubble, Talus, BlockfieldFragmented rock, broken away from bedrock surfaces and moved into its present position by gravity or ice.
2.1.3.2.3. Rubbly Mine SpoilsDiscarded overburden or waste rock moved to extract ore during a mining operation.
2.1.3.2.4. Lava BedArea where molten rock has flowed from volcano or fissure and cooled and solidified to form rock.
2.1.3.3. Exposed Land -
2.1.3.3.1. River SedimentsSilt, gravel, and sand bars associated with former river channels and present river edges
2.1.3.3.2. Exposed SoilAny exposed soil not covered by the other categories, such as areas of recent disturbance including mud slides, debris torrents, avalanches, or disturbances such as pipeline rights-of-way or cultivated fields, where vegetation cover is < 5%
2.1.3.3.3. Pond or Lake SedimentsExposed sediments related to dried-up lakes or ponds
2.1.3.3.4. Reservoir MarginLand exposed by a drained or fluctuating reservoir It is found above “normal” water levels and may consist of a range of substrates including gravel, cobbles, fine sediments, or bedrock.
2.1.3.3.5. BeachAn area with sorted sediments reworked in recent time by wave actions. It may be formed at the edge of fresh or salt water bodies.
2.1.3.3.6. LandingA compacted area adjacent to a road used for sorting and loading logs
2.1.3.3.7. Burned AreaLand showing evidence of recent burning, either natural or prescribed. Vegetation of < 5% crown cover is present at the time of polygon description.
2.1.3.3.8. Road SurfaceAn area cleared and compacted for the purpose of transporting goods and services by vehicles. Older roads that are used infrequently or not at all may cease to be classified as non-vegetated.
2.1.3.3.9. Mudflat SedimentFlat plain-like areas associated with lakes, ponds, rivers, or streams, dominated by fine-textured sediments. They can be associated with freshwater or estuarine sources.
2.1.3.3.10. CutbankPart of a road corridor created upslope of the road surface by excavation into the hillside. “Natural” forces may also create Cutbanks.
2.1.3.3.11. MoraineAn area of debris transported and deposited by a glacier.
2.1.3.3.12. Gravel or Borrow PitAn area exposed through the removal of sand and gravel.
2.1.3.3.13. TailingsAn area containing the solid waste material produced by the mining and milling of ore.
2.1.3.3.14. Railway SurfaceA roadbed with fixed rails, may contain single or multiple rail lines.
2.1.3.3.15. Buildings
and Parking
Buildings and parking: buildings and associated developments such as roads and parking areas.
2.1.3.3.16. AirportA permanently paved or graveled area, and associated buildings and parking, use by airplanes.
2.1.3.3.17. Open pit MineAn exposed area use to extract ore during a mining operation. This may contain associated buildings and any tailing produced by the mining and milling process.
2.1.3.3.18. OtherNone of the other exposed land categories can be reliably chosen.
2.2 Water -
2.2.1. WetlandSee vegetated-treed
2.2.1.1. LakeA naturally occurring static body of water more > 2m deep in some portion. The boundary for the lake is the natural high water mark.
2.2.1.2. ReservoirAn artificial basin affected by impoundment of water behind a human fabricated structure such as a dam, berm, dyke, or wall.
2.2.1.3. River/StreamA watercourse formed when water flows between continuous, definable banks. Flow may be intermittent or perennial, but does not include ephemeral flow where a channel with no definable banks is present. Gravel bars are part of a stream, while islands within a stream that have definable banks are not.
2.2.1.4. Salt WaterA naturally occurring body of water containing salt or generally considered to be salty.
2.2.2. UplandSee vegetated-treed
2.2.2.1. LakeA naturally occurring static body of water more > 2m deep in some portion. The boundary for the lake is the natural high water mark.
2.2.2.2. ReservoirAn artificial basin affected by impoundment of water behind a human fabricated structure such as a dam, berm, dyke, or wall.
2.2.2.3. River/StreamA watercourse formed when water flows between continuous, definable banks. Flow may be intermittent or perennial, but does not include ephemeral flow where a channel with no definable banks is present. Gravel bars are part of a stream, while islands within a stream that have definable banks are not.
2.2.2.4. Salt WaterA naturally occurring body of water containing salt or generally considered to be salty.
2.2.3. AlpineSee vegetated-treed
2.2.3.1. LakeA naturally occurring static body of water more > 2m deep in some portion. The boundary for the lake is the natural high water mark.
2.2.3.2. ReservoirAn artificial basin affected by impoundment of water behind a human fabricated structure such as a dam, berm, dyke, or wall.
2.2.3.3. River/StreamA watercourse formed when water flows between continuous, definable banks. Flow may be intermittent or perennial, but does not include ephemeral flow where a channel with no definable banks is present. Gravel bars are part of a stream, while islands within a stream that have definable banks are not.
2.2.3.4. Salt WaterA naturally occurring body of water containing salt or generally considered to be salty.

Each polygon class of the NFI Land Cover Classification Scheme is also defined by its density class which is defined below.

Dense
Tree, shrub, or herb cover is between 61% and 100% crown closure for the polygon.
Closed
This density class is strictly for Bryoid polygons where the cover of bryoids os >50% of the polygon.
Open
Tree, shrub, or herb cover is between 26% and 60% crown closure for the polygon. For Bryoid polygons, the cover of bryoids ≤ 50% of the total polygon.
Sparse
Tree cover is between 10% and 25% crown closure for treed polygons or cover is between 20-25% for shrub or herb cover polygons.

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