Potential Vegetation

Description of Vegetation Inputs used by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Model has used several spatially explicit data sets of vegetation to estimate carbon and nitrogen stocks and fluxes for various regions of the terrestrial biosphere. Most studies, however, are based on a global data set of potential vegetation that we created by digitizing a series of existing maps and then translated the map categories into general vegetation classes (TEMVEG) used by the model. To examine this translation of the map categories into TEMVEG classes, click on the appropriate region in the table below:



Africa Vegetation of Africa (White, 1981)
Alaska, USA Major Ecosystems of Alaska (Joint Federal-State Land Use Planning Commision for Alaska, 1973)
Australia Vegetation. Atlas of Australian Resources, Third Series (Australian Surveying and Land Information Group, 1990)
Canada Forest Regions of Canada (Rowe, 1972)
China Vegetation Map of China (Hou et al., 1979)
South America Vegetation Map of South America (UNESCO, 1981)
Former Soviet Union Vegetation of the USSR (Institute of Geography of the Siberian Department of USSR Academy of Sciences et al., 1990)
Conterminous United States Potential Natural Vegetation of the Conterminous United States (Küchler, 1975)
Rest of the World (Matthews, 1983)

TEMVEG Classes used by TEM


Description of Vegetation Type

1 Ice
2 Alpine Tundra and Polar Desert
3 Moist and Wet Tundra
4 Boreal Forest
5 Forested Boreal Wetlands
6 Boreal Woodlands
7 Non-forested Boreal Wetlands
8 Mixed Temperate Forests
9 Temperate Coniferous Forests
10 Temperate Deciduous Forests
11 Temperate Forested Wetlands
12 Tall Grasslands
13 Short Grasslands
14 Tropical Savanna
15 Arid Shrublands
16 Tropical Evergreen Forests
17 Tropical Forested Wetlands
18 Tropical Deciduous Forests
19 Xeromorphic Forests and Woodlands
20 Tropical Forested Floodplains
21 Deserts
22 Tropical Non-forested Wetlands
23 Tropical Non-forested Floodplains
24 Temperate Non-forested Wetlands
25 Temperate Forested Floodplains
26 Temperate Non-forested Floodplains
27 Wet Savannas
28 Salt Marsh
29 Mangroves
30 Tidal Freshwater Marshes
31 Temperate Savannas
32 Cultivation
33 Temperate Broadleaved Evergreen
34 Reserved
35 Mediterranean Shrublands

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