Ecological status

(1) The present state of vegetation and soil protection of an ecological site in relation to the potential natural community for the site. Vegetation status is the expression of the relative degree of which the kinds, proportions, and amounts of plants in a community resemble that of the potential natural community. If classes or ratings are used, they should be described in ecological rather than utilization terms. For example, some agencies are utilizing four classes of ecological status ratings (early seral, midseral, late-seral, potential natural community) of vegetation corresponding to 0-25%, 26-50%, 51-75%, and 76-100% of the potential natural community standard. Soil status is a measure of present vegetation and litter cover relative to the amount of cover needed on the site to prevent accelerated erosion. This term is not used by all agencies. (2) The present state of vegetation and soil protection of an ecological site in relation to the historic climax plant community for the site. Vegetation status is the expression of the relative degree of which the kinds, proportions, and amounts of plants in a community resemble that of the historic climax plant community. If classes or ratings are used, they should be described in ecological rather than utilization terms. [Source: USDA National Plant Materials Manual]

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