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Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States: Getting started

Designed to provide information sources and search ideas for students in Plant Ecology, 21:120:370:01

Developing an overview

      The first step in finding information is to develop an overview of your subject.  Sources developed by government agencies and other organizations can provide background information on vegetation types in your state.  As you review the sources, please note any terms that might be useful in your searches for books and articles.  

NatureServe Explorer: Online Encyclopedia of Life

The data collected by the Natural Heritage Network scientists has been organized for you to search for biodiversity information, which is presented in text, charts, and maps. Access points include common or scientific names of animals and plants as well as ecological communities. You may also use the search by location option to find out more about your state. (


Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States: The National Vegetation Classification System.  Government agencies and private organizations engaged in natural resource assessment and management have agreed to base their programs on the National Vegetation Classification System, a standardized means of describing plants and plant communities. The system was developed by scientists at The Nature Conservancy over a twenty year period and later adopted by government agencies as they collaborated on projects with the Conservancy.  For more information, the Association of Biodiversity Information provides a copy in PDF format.


Life Sciences Librarian

Ann Vreeland Watkins's picture
Ann Vreeland Watkins
John Cotton Dana Library
185 University Ave
Newark, NJ 07102-1814
(973) 353-3809

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