Ecologists from the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), NatureServe, and US Geological Survey (USGS) have collaborated on a project to integrate the California Alliances into the updated version of the FGDC National Vegetation Classification (NVC) standard. Upon reviewing the newly revised USNVC hierarchy, we nested approximately 500 alliances found in California into the higher levels of the hierarchy. During a series of discussions between CNPS, CDFW and NatureServe, the California ecologists recommended changes to the USNVC hierarchy, including merging of various higher level groups and/or macrogroups. At least 10 groups have now been merged with other groups, and another 20 groups need further review by other regional ecologists. We have also presented the background and results of this project during two workshops in California and during ESA Vegetation Panel meetings. A resulting product, the CA Alliances intersected with the new USNVC hierarchy, will be posted online at the CNPS, CDFW, and USNVC websites.
Julie M. Evens