Concept

British National Vegetation Classification

Summary
NOTOC The British National Vegetation Classification or NVC is a system of classifying natural habitat types in Great Britain according to the vegetation they contain. A large scientific meeting of ecologists, botanists, and other related professionals in the United Kingdom resulted in the publication of a compendium of five books: British Plant Communities, edited by John S. Rodwell, which detail the incidence of plant species in twelve major habitat types in the British natural environment. They are the first systematic and comprehensive account of the vegetation types of the country. They cover all natural, semi-natural and major artificial habitats in Great Britain (not Northern Ireland) and represent fifteen years of research by leading plant ecologists. From the data collated from the books, commercial software products have been developed to help to classify vegetation identified into one of the many habitat types found in Great Britain – these include MATCH, TABLEFIT and MAVIS. The following is a list of terms used in connection with the British National Vegetation Classification, together with their meanings: A community is the fundamental unit of categorisation for vegetation. A subcommunity is a distinct recognisable subdivision of a community. A variant is a further subdivision of a subcommunity. A constant species in a community is a species that is always present in any given stand of vegetation belonging to that community. For a list of the constant species, and the NVC communities in which they are present, see List of constant species in the British National Vegetation Classification. A rare species is a species which is associated with a particular community and is rare nationally. The sources used by the authors of British Plant Communities for assessing rarity were as follows. a) for vascular plants, two sources were used: Perring, F. H. and S. M. Walters (1962) Atlas of the British Flora – a species was regarded as rare if it was given an "A" rating in this work (these were plants which Perring & Walters judged to be sufficiently rare to merit a special search in order to ensure all records were included in the atlas).
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