Australian Vegetation Attribute Manual

National Vegetation Information System, Version 6.0
Executive Steering Committee for Australian Vegetation Information (ESCAVI)
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2003
ISBN 0 642 54953 2


Section One introduces the document and provides background to the National Vegetation Information System. The section also describes the scope of this Manual and introduces the NVIS Framework, part of which is presently being implemented and described in this Manual. Some important recent developments are also described.

Section Two describes the key concepts and procedures that are required to implement the NVIS Framework. It explains the requirements for and the relationships between vegetation structural and floristic attributes and the application of the NVIS Information Hierarchy. The hierarchy provides one way to aggregate and summarise the detailed data recorded in the lower tables of the database. This section also outlines the importance of understanding the need for documentation of the accuracy and reliability of the data and information entered into the database. Not all data entered into the database are of equal importance. To denote this, the attributes are categorised into those that are mandatory, essential, recommended, optional, etc. Some of the key NVIS-wide tables are too large to put in this section and are therefore placed in Section 3 (e.g. Growth Form) or the Appendices (e.g. Glossary).

Section Three presents a detailed explanation of each attribute, including its purpose, a description and an example of how the attribute should be interpreted. Some attributes have pre-defined pick lists (i.e. lookup tables) of allowable values or codes, whilst others are designed for numeric or free text content. The primary purpose of this section is to enable the analyst in determining how to translate and compile each attribute in the NVIS Framework. The section relies heavily on the concepts and tables in Section 2.

Section Four describes the progress towards the implementation of rules to improve the consistency and integrity of the NVIS database. These include rules to generate the simpler levels of the NVIS Information Hierarchy from data entered at a more-detailed level.

The Appendices have additional documents supporting the application of the NVIS Attributes.