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NRCS Ecological Site Information System


Note: This is a minimal abstract. A more detailed abstract will be created in the future.

Basic Information Name: NRCS Ecological Site Information System
Acronym: ESIS
Author/Owner/Steward: USDA NRCS
Type: Information Source
Platform: Online database
Website: http://esis.sc.egov.usda.gov/

Description from Website

The Ecological Site Information System (ESIS) is the repository for the data associated with the collection of forestland and rangeland plot data and the development of ecological site descriptions. ESIS is organized into two applications and associated databases:

The Ecological Site Description (ESD) application provides the capability to produce automated ecological site descriptions from the data stored in its database. ESD is the official repository for all data associated with the development of forestland and rangeland ecological site descriptions by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Looking across any landscape it is not difficult to recognize that some parts are different from other parts in regard to the kinds and amounts of vegetation. To understand this variation across the landscape, we classify these different parts into units called ecological sites. Ecological site is defined as “a distinctive kind of land with specific characteristics that differs from other kinds of land in its ability to produce a distinctive kind and amount of vegetation”. Any land inventory, analysis, and resulting management decisions require the knowledge of these individual sites and their interrelationships to one another on the landscape. The ecological site description is the document that will contain information about the individual ecological sites.

The Ecological Site Description (ESD) application provides the capability to produce automated ecological site descriptions from the data stored in its database. ESD is the official repository for all data associated with the development of forestland and rangeland ecological site descriptions by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The data comprising a ecological site description is presented in four major categories:

  • Site Characteristics – Identifies the site and describes the physiographic, climate, soil, and water features associated with the site.
  • Plant Communities – Describes the ecological dynamics and the common plant communities comprising the various vegetation states of the site. The disturbances that cause a shift from one state to another are also described.
  • Site Interpretations – Interpretive information pertinent to the use and management of the site and its related resources.
  • Supporting Information – Provides information on sources of information and data utilized in developing the site description and the relationship of the site to other ecological sites.

The Ecological Site Inventory (ESI) application provides the capability to enter, edit, and retrieve rangeland, forestry, and agroforestry plot data. ESI is the official repository for all plot data collected via the Soil-Woodland Correlation Field Data Sheet (ECS-005), the Windbreak-Soil-Species Evaluation Data Sheet (ECS-004) and the Production and Composition Record For Native Grazing Lands (RANGE-417).

Contact Information

Contact Name: George Peacock
Contact Email: george.peacock@ftw.usda.gov
URL: http://esis.sc.egov.usda.gov

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databases/nrcs_ecological_site_information_system.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/08 16:37 by jgillan