A Manual of California Vegetation

The Second Edition of A Manual of California Vegetation provides a standardized, systematic classification and description of vegetation in the State. The 1,300-page book presents a refined picture of the state’s diverse vegetation patterns, following 14 years of rigorous surveys, analysis, description, and mapping of vegetation. The method of vegetation classification presented in the Manual represents the vegetation classification standards for large-scale vegetation maps recently adopted by the state. These state standards meet the National Vegetation Classification System standards followed by federal agencies.

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The California Native Plant Society’s web-based version of the manual, link opens in new windowA Manual of California Vegetation Online contains the same information in a searchable database format with photos, and will be updated with new alliances.

The new edition contains keys to and descriptions of vegetation types ranging from desert to vernal pool types.

Introductory chapters include:

  • What is Vegetation
  • History of Vegetation Classification
  • Approach to Classification
  • Conservation and Management
  • Changes in the book since the first edition
  • A Guide to Interpreting the Descriptions

Descriptions of each vegetation type (Alliance) include:

  • List of characteristic species
  • Natural processes that shape the ecology of the vegetation
  • Rarity and importance values
  • Regional variation
  • Restoration and other management considerations
  • Range map
  • Complete list of known plant associations derived from published studies

Appendices include:

  • Detailed life history information of diagnostic species
  • Detailed fire regime table
  • Reclassified or untreated vegetation that has been defined or suggested in other studies
  • New National Vegetation Classification hierarchy applied to California
  • Glossary

Indexes are included to:

  • Scientific names for the vegetation types and species
  • California Wildlife Habitat Relationships System (CWHR) types
  • CALVEG types