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Table 1 The main attributes of the classifications used here. See text for further details and explanation

From: Classifying forest inventory data into species-based forest community types at broad extents: exploring tradeoffs among supervised and unsupervised approaches

Name Classification Primary uses Origin Primary criteria # classes included here (conterminous U.S., eastern U.S.) Supervised / unsupervised Extent (for this project)a
Empirical Empirical classification Assessment and projection of tree species assemblage change over time based on FIA data Recent: published in 2017 (Costanza et al. 2017) All native tree species, excluding the most rare 29, 17 Unsupervised Conterminous U.S.
FIA FIA forest type groups Forest inventory and assessment based on FIA data Forest types developed in the 1980s (Eyre 1980) Emphasis on dominant tree species 28, 17 Supervised Conterminous U.S.
USNVC USNVC Macrogroups Vegetation inventory, monitoring, assessment, mapping, conservation planning Iterative: version 2.0 published in 2016 (usnvc.org); tree key recently applied to FIA plots (Menard et al. 2017) All plant species, plus environmental conditions and disturbance; a tree-based key was used to assign FIA plots to USNVC classes. N/A, 25 A combination of supervised and unsupervised Eastern U.S.
  1. aExtent reflects the extent of the classifications we used in this paper; FIA and USNVC classes exist for the entire U.S. and its territories