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Australian Vegetation Classification and the International Vegetation Classification Framework
Australian Journal of Botany

Recent advances in conceptual frameworks in vegetation classifications, such as the EcoVeg approach that underpins the International Vegetation Classification (IVC) developed by NatureServe staff and colleagues, offer opportunities to enhance national classification initiatives. National level initiatives provide an important stepping-stone between international units and subnational units. Australia has a long history of developing various vegetation typologies at local to regional scales, but ecologists recognise the need for an Australia-wide, plot-based vegetation classification system that incorporates the principles of the EcoVeg approach, and thereby helps build an international classification system. Using two case studies, we provide a comparison of various structures and criteria for relevant Australian classifications in the context of the IVC, and exemplify how Australian classifications of forest, shrublands, grasslands, and deserts could potentially link into the IVC hierarchy to illustrate the capacity of the IVC to summarise the full range of Australian vegetation at a broad formation (biome) scale. We then discuss how the IVC might inform future work towards an Australian vegetation classification system and, vice versa, the implications of an Australian vegetation classification for IVC development.

Muldavin Esteban H., Addicott Eda, Hunter John T., Lewis Donna, Faber-Langendoen Don (2021) Australian vegetation classification and the International Vegetation Classification framework: an overview with case studies. Australian Journal of Botany 69, 339-356.