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 Three (continued): List of NVIS Attributes

Descriptions of NVIS Attributes (continued)

Detailed Vegetation Attributes

Structural Information

Attribute: ST01 - STRATUM CODE
Heading Details
Purpose: To briefly describe the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: STRATUM_CODE
Description: The stratum code defines each sub-stratum with a letter that corresponds with the stratum, and a number that describes the position within the stratum of a particular sub-stratum, in order of decreasing relative height, e.g. U1 > U2 > U3. I.e. U1 is always the tallest tree layer. The stratum code does not imply dominance.
Value: Character(20); This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: U1
Comments: Note that E, for emergent, is no longer a valid value. In the validation of the NVIS (2000) dataset in the Commonwealth, most E sub-strata have been converted to U1 sub-stratum, as appropriate. Several E sub-strata have been converted to M sub-strata.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Look-up Table for: STRATUM CODE
Code Explanation
U1 Upper - Tallest sub-stratum. For forests and woodlands this will often, but not always, be the dominant sub-stratum. For a continuum, the tallest stratum becomes the defining stratum.
U Upper - Tree layer; for data supplied at NVIS Level 5.
U2 Upper - Sub canopy layer, second tree layer
U3 Upper - Sub canopy layer, third tree layer
M1 Mid - Tall shrub layer
M Mid - Mid (shrub) layer; for data supplied at NVIS Level 5.
M2 Mid - Mid shrub layer
M3 Mid - Low shrub layer.
G1 Lower - Tall ground layer.
G Ground - Ground layer; for data supplied at NVIS Level 5.
G2 Lower - Low ground layer
Attribute: ST02 - SUB-STRATUM RANK
Heading Details
Purpose: To assign a number to each sub-stratum in a stratum in order of decreasing dominance.
Requirement: Recommended
Database Field Name: SUB_STRATUM_RANK (was: STR_NUMBER)
Description: A number assigned to each sub-stratum within a stratum in order of decreasing dominance. Rather than number sub-strata in order of decreasing dominance across the whole vegetation profile, comparing similar entities will be easier for the assignment of dominance to sub-strata within each stratum. Dominance would be based on an estimate of biomass (cover x height) for each sub-stratum.
Value: Number(10); Valid range for NVIS: 1-3.
Example: 2
Comments: Applies to data supplied at NVIS Level 6 only. This attribute does not necessarily work on decreasing height of the sub-stratum, as does STRATUM_CODE. This attribute is subject to further review with respect to improving the transparency of generating Level V descriptions from Level VI.
Status: Similar (v. 5.0) field implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST03 - NUMBER OF GROWTH FORMS
Heading Details
Purpose: To document the number of growth forms recorded for the (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: QAQC
Database Field Name: NUMBER_OF_GROWTH_FORMS
Description: This attribute provides a quick summary of the number of discrete growth forms occurring within one sub-stratum within the vegetation description. It is provided by the data supplier. A maximum number of five growth forms per sub-stratum can be reported.
Value: Number(10)
Example: 3
Comments: This field checks the integrity of the relevant records in the Growth Form table through relevant rules (see Section 4).
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST04 - NUMBER OF TAXA
Heading Details
Purpose: To document the number of taxa recorded for the (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: QAQC
Database Field Name: NUMBER_OF_TAXA
Description: This attribute provides a quick summary of the number of discrete taxa occurring within the one sub-stratum in the vegetation description. It is provided by the data supplier. A maximum number of five taxa per sub-stratum can be reported.
Value: Number (10)
Example: 3
Comments: This field checks the integrity of the relevant records in the Taxon table through relevant rules (see Section 4).
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST05 - COVER TYPE
Heading Details
Purpose: To briefly specify the type of measure used in the COVER VALUE in the Stratum table.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: COVER TYPE
Description: This attribute must be completed if any of the COVER VALUE fields (MINIMUM, MAXIMUM, MEDIAN and/or MEAN) are recorded in the STRATUM table.
The codes are prefixed by:
N - Numeric Real Value
C - Numeric Classed Value (the values provided are the upper and lower ranges of a cover class category)
Q - Qualitative Value
Value: Character(20). This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: 1N
Comments: The numbers for the "C" options have been simplified, so that the number refers to the type of cover measure. (The letter refers to how it is reported.) Options 10Q (frequency) and 11Q (Dominance), from version 5.0 of the Aust. Veg. Attributes, have been removed, since these values would not be valid options in the STRATUM table. Also, FREQUENCY and DOMINANCE are separate fields in the GROWTH_FORM and TAXON tables.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database. The options 5C to 9C will need to be changed to 1C to 5C, respectively. Also, decisions made about 10Q and 11Q, where these exist.
Look-up Table for: COVER TYPE
Code Explanation
1N Crown or Canopy Cover:§ Crown Cover is defined as the percentage of the sample site within the vertical projection of the periphery of the crowns. In this case crowns are treated as opaque (Walker and Hopkins 1990). § Crown cover is estimated using the mean gap between crowns divided by mean crown width (the crown separation ratio) (Walker and Hopkins 1990).§ The cover values provided for the NVIS are the summed and averaged values for each sub-association, generally determined from the synthesis of site data.§ Values may include the minimum, maximum, mean and median.
2N Foliage Cover:§ Foliage cover is defined as the percentage of the sample site occupied by the vertical projection of foliage and branches (if woody) (Walker and Hopkins 1990). § For ground vegetation, it is measured using line intercept methods. It will, to some degree take into account the thickness of a clump of grass.§ % crown cover x crown type (Walker and Hopkins 1990) § The cover values provided for the NVIS are the summed and averaged values for each sub-association, generally determined from the synthesis of site data.§ Values may include the minimum, maximum, mean and median.
3N Percentage Cover:§ The percentage of a strictly defined plot area, covered by vegetation, generally applicable for the ground vegetation that has been estimated rather than measured using line intercept methods. It does not necessarily take into account thickness of a clump of grass.§ The cover values provided for the NVIS are the summed and averaged values for each sub-association, generally determined from the synthesis of site data.§ Values may include the minimum, maximum, mean and median.
4N Projective Foliage Cover:§ The percentage of the sample site occupied by the vertical projection of foliage only (Walker and Hopkins 1990). § The cover values provided for the NVIS are the summed and averaged values for each sub-association, generally determined from the synthesis of site data.§ Values may include the minimum, maximum, mean and median.
1C Crown or Canopy Cover: As for 1N above but for data derived from or containing class intervals. § Crown Cover is defined as the percentage of the sample site within the vertical projection of the periphery of the crowns. In this case crowns are treated as opaque. § The cover values provided for the NVIS are the summed and averaged values for each sub-association, generally determined from the synthesis of site data.§ Values may include the minimum, maximum, mean and median. (Formerly 5C).
2C Foliage Cover: As for 2N above but for data derived from or containing class intervals. § Foliage cover is defined as the percentage of the sample site occupied by the vertical projection of foliage and branches (Walker and Hopkins 1990). § For ground vegetation, it is measured using line intercept methods. It will, to some degree take into account the thickness of a clump of grass.§ The cover values provided for the NVIS are the summed and averaged values for each sub-association, generally determined from the synthesis of site data.§ Values may include the minimum, maximum, mean and median. (Formerly 6C)
3C Percentage Cover: As for 3N above but for data derived from or containing class intervals. § The percentage of a strictly defined plot area, covered by vegetation, generally applicable for the ground vegetation that has been estimated rather than measured using line intercept methods. It does not necessarily take into account thickness of a clump of grass.§ The cover values provided for the NVIS are the summed and averaged values for each sub-association, generally determined from the synthesis of site data. Values may include the minimum, maximum, mean and median. (Formerly 7C)
4C Projective Foliage Cover: As for 2N above but for data derived from or containing class intervals. § The percentage of the sample site occupied by the vertical projection of foliage only (not branches) (Walker and Hopkins 1990). § The cover values provided for the NVIS are the summed and averaged values for each sub-association, generally determined from the synthesis of site data.§ Values may include the minimum, maximum, mean and median. (Formerly 8C)
5C Cover Abundance Rating: § Abundance class system eg. Braun-Blanquet.§ Percentage values may include the minimum and maximum. (Formerly 9C)
not applicable not applicable
unknown unknown
Attribute: ST06 - COVER TYPE DERIVATION METHOD
Heading Details
Purpose: To provide further details on the type of measure used in the COVER VALUE in the Stratum table.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_TYPE_DERIV_METHOD
Description: A more detailed description of the COVER TYPE recorded, including the derivation method.
Where a cover abundance rating is recorded, specify the system applied and a reference where available.
Value: Character(2000).
Example: Braun-Blanquet
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database. Recommend upgrade to contents of this field.
Attribute: ST07 - COVER MINIMUM VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the minimum value of cover for the (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_MINIMUM_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the COVER TYPE, expressed as the minimum value for the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N), a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) or a qualitative value (TYPE 9Q) may be provided for this attribute. This record relates to the lowest value of the range. This value is provided by the data supplier when only classified cover data is available for the vegetation description.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 10
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST08 - COVER MAXIMUM VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the maximum value of cover for the (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_MAXIMUM_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the COVER TYPE, expressed as the maximum value for the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N), a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) or a qualitative value (TYPE 9Q) may be provided for this attribute. This record relates to the highest value of the range. This value is provided by the data supplier when only classified cover data is available for the vegetation description.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 70
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST09 - COVER MEDIAN VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the median value of cover for the (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_MEDIAN_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the COVER TYPE, expressed as the median value for the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N) or a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) may be provided for this attribute.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 60
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST10 - COVER MEAN VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the mean value of cover for the (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: COVER_MEAN_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the SUB-ASSOCIATION STRATUM COVER TYPE, expressed as the mean value for the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N) or a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) may be provided for this attribute.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 60
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST11 - COVER CODE
Heading Details
Purpose: To categorise the cover measurement for the stratum or sub-stratum.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: COVER_CODE
Description: A code which is interpreted by the data custodian from primary measure(s) of cover for the (sub-)stratum. It summarises the cover measure in a form which is comparable across different methods of measurement.
Value: Character(20); This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: d
Comments: The methods used to translate the associated TYPE and VALUE into the appropriate COVER CODE must be documented.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Look-up Table for: COVER CODE
Code Explanation
d Foliage cover 70-100% - Crown cover 80-100%
d Ground cover 70-100%
c Foliage cover 30-70% - Crown cover 50-80%
c Ground cover 30-70%
i Foliage cover 10-30% - Crown cover 20-50%
i Ground cover 10-30%
r Foliage cover less than 10% - Crown cover 0.25-20%
r Ground cover less than 10%
bi Foliage cover ~0% (scattered) - Crown cover 0-0.25%
bi Ground cover ~0% (scattered)
bc Foliage cover ~0% (clumped) - Crown cover 0-0.25%
bc Ground cover ~0% (clumped)
unknown unknown
Attribute: ST12 - HEIGHT TYPE
Heading Details
Purpose: To describe the method used to provide the HEIGHT VALUE.
Requirement: QAQC
Database Field Name: HEIGHT_TYPE
Description: The measurement point for the heights of each (sub-)stratum. This can vary depending on observer and will probably always be somewhat imprecise, as there is no unequivocal method for defining the height measurement point of particular sub canopy layers or stratum. The delineation of these layers or strata is generally subjective, relying on the recorders perception of heights and can be complicated by the vegetation itself.
Value: Character(20); This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to. In the lookup code, the first letter is as per COVER_TYPE in the STRATUM table, viz: N = Numeric Real Value; C = Numeric Classified Value
Example: NT
Comments: This attribute is an attempt to standardise the precision and the source of the height measurement.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Look-up Table for: HEIGHT TYPE
Code Height Type Stratum Growth Form Explanation
NV Layer Height (general vegetation mapping) Any Forest, woodlands, shrublands, grasslands Layer height of the top stratum (top of the canopy or the top of the bulk of the vegetative material making up the stratum) that may be present, other than the tallest layer (i.e. midstorey canopy). The min and max values of this will not give any indication of canopy depth.
NA Average Height (general vegetation mapping) Any Forest, woodlands, shrublands, grasslands Average height of the stratum where the bulk of the vegetative material falls within a particular stratum. This may not strictly result from the measurement of a number individuals, or representative individuals, which fall within the range of the recognised stratum. The mean value becomes essentially a measure of the midpoint of the canopy depth. The min and max values define the depth of the canopy or layer.
NT Top Height U1, U2 Forests General height of the top of the tallest canopy layer, not necessarily the dominant canopy layer. The min and max values will not give any indication of canopy depth. This height category may indicate U1 as "emergent" layer and U2 as the dominant layer.
CV Layer Height As above As above As above
CP Top Height As above As above As above
CT Dominant Height As above As above As above
CA Average Height As above As above As above
not applicable - - - not applicable
unknown - - - unknown
Attribute: ST13 - HEIGHT TYPE DERIVATION METHOD
Heading Details
Purpose: To provide further descriptive information on the HEIGHT TYPE recorded, including the derivation method.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: HEIGHT_TYPE_DERIV_METHOD
Description: A more detailed description of the HEIGHT_TYPE recorded, including the derivation method.
Value: Character(2000).
Example: Average height measured by a clinometer in the field.
Comments: The unit of this field is metres or fractions, thereof.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST14 - HEIGHT MINIMUM VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the minimum value of height for the (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: HEIGHT_MINIMUM_VALUE
Description: A height value for the HEIGHT TYPE, expressed as the minimum value for the (sub-)stratum. This value is provided by the data supplier when only classified height data is available for the vegetation description.
Value: Number(5,1)
Example: 10.0
Comments: The unit of this field is metres or fractions, thereof.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST15 - HEIGHT MAXIMUM VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the maximum value of height for the (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: HEIGHT_MAXIMUM_VALUE
Description: A height value for the HEIGHT TYPE, expressed as the maximum value for the (sub-)stratum. This value is provided by the data supplier when only classified height data is available for the vegetation description.
Value: Number(5,1)
Example: 40.0
Comments: The unit of this field is metres or fractions, thereof.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST16 - HEIGHT MEAN VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the mean height for the (sub-)stratum
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: HEIGHT_MEAN_VALUE
Description: A height value for the HEIGHT TYPE, expressed as the mean value for the (sub-)stratum.
Value: Number(5,1)
Example: 25.6
Comments: The unit of this field is metres or fractions, thereof.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST17 - HEIGHT MEDIAN VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the mean height for the (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: HEIGHT_MEDIAN_VALUE (was: MEDIAN VALUE)
Description: A height value for the HEIGHT TYPE, expressed as the median value for the (sub-)stratum.
Value: Number(5,1)
Example: 30.0
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: ST18 - HEIGHT CLASS
Heading Details
Purpose: To categorise the height for each sub-stratum.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: HEIGHT_CLASS
Description: The height class is interpreted by the data custodian from the sub-stratum height value(s) and growth form(s) for the sub-stratum. It summarises the height measure in a form which is comparable across different methods of measurement. It contributes to the definition of the structural formation of the sub-stratum.
Value: Number(10); This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: 8
Comments: Note that previously, this field was a character data type. The classes were proposed to avoid confusion with the Walker & Hopkins (1990) height classes, and to enable simplified coding for map legends.
The class intervals were derived from an appraisal of Australian vegetation mapping height classes used by the various jurisdictions. The existing Walker & Hopkins (1990) height classes, although applicable for the taller classes, did not correspond well in the lower classes. An epiphyte takes on the height class code of the (sub-)stratum in which it occurs.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database. Check implications of change from Character to Numeric field.
Look-up Table for: HEIGHT CLASS
Code Explanation
8 Height Range greater than 30 m - Trees, Vines (in M and U), Palms (single-stemmed), Epiphytes
7 Height Range 10 - 30 m - Trees, Vines (in M and U), Palms (single-stemmed), Mallee, Mallee shrub, Epiphytes
6 Height Range less than 10 m - Trees, Vines (in M and U), Palms (single-stemmed), Epiphyte; Height Range 3 - 10 m - Mallee, Mallee shrub, Epiphytes
5 Height Range less than 3 m - Mallee, Mallee shrub, Epiphytes
4 Height Range above 2 m - Cycads, Grass-trees, Tree-ferns, Shrubs, Heath shrub, Chenopod shrub, Ferns, Samphire, Palms (multi-stemmed), Tussock and Hummock grasses, Sedges, Rushes, Forbs, Epiphytes (in G), Vines (in G)
3 Height Range 1 - 2 m - Cycads, Grass-trees, Tree-ferns, Shrubs, Heath shrub, Chenopod shrub, Ferns, Samphire, Palms (multi-stemmed), Tussock and Hummock grasses, Sedges, Rushes, Forbs, Epiphytes (in G), Vines (in G)
2 Height Range 0.5 - 1 m - Cycads, Grass-trees, Tree-ferns, Shrubs, Heath shrub, Chenopod shrub, Ferns, Samphire, Palms (multi-stemmed), Tussock and Hummock grasses, Sedges, Rushes, Forbs, Lichen, Bryophyte, Seagrasses, Epiphytes (in G), Vines (in G)
1 Height Range less than 0.5 m - Cycads, Grass-trees, Tree-ferns, Shrubs, Heath shrub, Chenopod shrub, Ferns, Samphire, Palms (multi-stemmed), tussock and Hummock grasses, Sedges, Rushes, Forbs, Lichen, Bryophyte, Seagrasses, Epiphytes (in G)
unknown unknown
Attribute: ST19 - DOMINANT STRATUM FLAG
Heading Details
Purpose: To give a simple indication as to whether the stratum is dominant, relative to all other strata, within the vegetation community being described.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: DOMINANT_STRATUM_FLAG (was: IS_DOMINANT)
Description: This is a Boolean field added to the dominant sub-stratum in level 6 or stratum in level 5. It is carried through at the stratum level in upper levels of the NVIS Hierarchy.
Value: Character(1); Valid entries: "Y" (Yes) or "N" (No); "T" (True) or "F" (False).
Example: Y
Comments: See glossary for further discussion of dominance. Where the value of this field is T or Y, the corresponding (sub-)stratum is marked with a "+" in the appropriate fields describing levels 6 to 4 in the NVIS Information Hierarchy. As part of the restructure and review of NVIS (2000), rules were developed to check the content and automatically generate levels 1 to 4 (and 5) thru XML applications.
Status: New field. Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Taxon Data

Attribute: TD01 - TAXON DATA RANK
Heading Details
Purpose: To number to each taxon (species) in order of decreasing importance within each sub-stratum.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: TAXON_DATA_RANK
Description: The most important taxon in describing the (sub-)stratum must be assigned a value of '1'.
The number assigned to the remaining taxa should allocated according to decreasing importance.
A maximum of 5 taxa are required for NVIS at each sub-stratum, but more for each sub-stratum, but more can be supplied , if needed.
Value: Number(10); Valid range for NVIS: 1-5, with no ties. Numbers greater than 5 are optional.
Example: 3
Comments: Importance is usually the dominance of the taxon in the (sub-)stratum, as estimated by biomass. However, once the co-dominant and sub-dominant taxa have been listed, indicator taxa (but not otherwise dominant) can be used to characterise the vegetation description.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: TD02 - TAXON DATA DESCRIPTION
Heading Details
Purpose: To describe the taxon against which ecological data is entered in the TAXON_DATA table.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: TAXON_DATA_DESCRIPTION
Description: This field contains the full taxonomic names of the taxon.
Value: Character (2000). Genus+species+infraspecies rank+infraspecies in the format: [A-Z][a-z]+ [a-z-]+.?( (subsp.|var.|sp. aff.|cv.|f.|s. lat.|s. str.|x|nothossp.) [a-z]+)?, where A-Z means the genus name is capitalised and remaining fields are lower-case. Species and infraspecies names are all lower-case.
Example: Eucalyptus obliqua
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database and XML transfer system.
Attribute: TD03 - TAXON DATA SOURCE CODE
Heading Details
Purpose: To supply a code for the taxon against which ecological data is entered in the TAXON_DATA table.
Requirement: Recommended
Database Field Name: TAXON_DATA_SOURCE_CODE
Description: The data supplier's unique source code for the taxon. This attribute is based on the authority's coding system.
Value: Character(50).
Example: 'eucatetr' represents Eucalyptus tetrodonta in a particular dataset or jurisdiction.
Comments: These codes will not be comparable between data sets or jurisdictions and are only used to provide a link to the TAXON SOURCE and TAXON SOURCE IDENTIFIER.
Status: New field in this table. Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database and the XML transfer system.
Attribute: TD04 - COVER TYPE
Heading Details
Purpose: To briefly specify the type of measure used in the COVER VALUE in the Taxon table.
Requirement: QAQC
Database Field Name: COVER_TYPE
Description: The type of measure used for defining the COVER VALUE fields (MINIMUM, MAXIMUM, MEDIAN and/or MEAN). This attribute must be completed if the COVER VALUE is recorded in the TAXON table.
The codes are prefixed by:
N - Numeric Real Value
C - Numeric Classed Value (the values provided are the upper and lower ranges of a cover class category)
Q - Qualitative Value
Value: Character(20). This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: 10Q
Comments: **N.B. See ST05 COVER TYPE for the lookup table.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: TD05 - COVER TYPE DERIVATION METHOD
Heading Details
Purpose: To provide further details on the type of measure used in the COVER VALUE in the Taxon table.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_TYPE_DERIV_METHOD
Description: A more detailed description of the COVER TYPE recorded in the fields (MINIMUM, MAXIMUM, MEDIAN and/or MEAN), including the derivation method, as per COVER TYPE DERIVATION METHOD in the Stratum table.
Where a cover abundance rating is recorded, specify the system applied and a reference where available.
Value: Character(2000).
Example: Braun-Blanquet
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: TD06 - COVER MINIMUM VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the minimum value of cover for the taxon in the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_MINIMUM_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the TAXON COVER TYPE, expressed as the minimum value for the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N), a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) or a qualitative value (TYPE 9Q) may be provided for this attribute. This record relates to the lower value of the range.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 10
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: TD07 - COVER MAXIMUM VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the maximum value of cover for the taxon in the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_MAXIMUM_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the COVER TYPE, expressed as the maximum value for the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N), a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) or a qualitative value (TYPE 9Q) may be provided for this attribute. This record relates to the highest value of the range.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 70
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: TD08 - COVER MEDIAN VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the median value of cover for the taxon in the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_MEDIAN_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the COVER TYPE, expressed as the median value for the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N) or a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) may be provided for this attribute.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 60
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: TD09 - COVER MEAN VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the mean value of cover for the taxon in the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Recommended
Database Field Name: COVER_MEAN_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the COVER TYPE, expressed as the mean value for the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N) or a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) may be provided for this attribute.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 60
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: TD10 - TAXON DATA DOMINANCE QUALIFIER
Heading Details
Purpose: To indicate the type of dominance of the species in the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Recommended
Database Field Name: TAXON_DATA_DOMINANCE_QUALIFIER (was: COVER DOMINANCE)
Description: A value of dominance for the species in the (sub-)stratum. Dominance is the relative contribution the species makes to the biomass of the (sub-)stratum. Dominance can relate to the spatial extent of a species in a vegetation type as well as its dominance at sites. Please see Glossary (Appendix A) for further definitions.
Value: Character(20); This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: dominant
Comments: The procedures used to generate the contents of this field need to be comprehensively documented in the Data Set table, for each data set.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database. The information content needs to be reconciled with the obsolete field TX 2 DOMINANCE_SEPARATOR. Where this cannot be done automatically, the data custodians will need to supply the correct interpretation. Also, codes from Version 5.0 need to be converted to words.
Look-up Table for: TAXON DATA DOMINANCE QUALIFIER
Code Explanation
dominant Dominant species.
co-dominant A co-dominant species is one which is equally-dominant to one or more other species.
sub-dominant A sub-dominant species is one which occurs frequently in the vegetation type but has a lesser relative biomass than the dominant species.
indicator A characteristic or indicator species that is not otherwise dominant in the vegetation type.
other A species that is not a dominant, co-dominant, sub-dominant or characteristic/indicator species.
unknown unknown
Attribute: TD11 - TAXON DATA FREQUENCY
Heading Details
Purpose: To specify the frequency of a particular taxon across the (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: Recommended
Database Field Name: TAXON_DATA_FREQUENCY (was: COVER FREQUENCY)
Description: A frequency code for the taxon.
Value: Character(20); This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: A
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database. Need to change name in database.
Look-up Table for: TAXON DATA FREQUENCY
Code Explanation
A High frequency (abundant) >80%
C Moderate frequency (common) 50-80%
O Low frequency (occasional) 10-50%
R Infrequent (rare) less than 10%
not applicable not applicable
unknown unknown
Attribute: TD12 - TAXON DATA ALWAYS THERE
Heading Details
Purpose: To indicate whether the species is always present throughout the extent of the vegetation type.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: TAXON_DATA_ALWAYS_THERE
Description: This attribute is used to specify whether a +/- symbol is generated in the vegetation description at levels 5 and 6.
Value: Character(20); a value of N generates a +/- separator symbol in the level 5 and 6 attributes in the Vegetation Description Table.
Example: N
Comments: This field appears to duplicate FREQUENCY, but is meant to be a simple interpretation of frequency in the context of generating vegetation descriptions with +/- symbols between relevant species. There is considerable scope to create and apply a rule, here, when FREQUENCY data are available in the record.
Status: New field. Yet to be implemented in the NVIS Oracle database. Some information content can be retrieved from DOMINANCE_SEPARATOR in version 5.0 and from SOURCE_CODE. Where this cannot be done automatically, the data custodians will need to supply the correct interpretation.
Look-up Table for: TAXON DATA ALWAYS THERE
Code Explanation
Y Yes. The species is always found in the vegetation type. Where quantitative frequency data are available, frequencies greater than 80% (FREQUENCY = 'A'; i.e. high frequency/abundant) generate a Yes value. This generates a "," separator for the species in the level 5 and 6 attributes in the Vegetation Description Table. Where FREQUENCY = 'C' and ALWAYS_THERE = 'Y' a rule could be developed to generate a warning.
N No. The species may or may not be present. Where quantitative frequency data are available, frequencies less than 80% (FREQUENCY = 'C', 'O', 'R', 'not applicable' and 'unknown'; i.e. lower frequency values) generate a No value This generates a +/- separator symbol for the species in the level 5 and 6 attributes in the Vegetation Description Table.
unknown unknown. This option generates a "," separator for the species in the level 5 and 6 attributes in the Vegetation Description Table.
Attribute: TD13 - TAXON DATA SUMMARY FLAG
Heading Details
Purpose: To give a simple indication as to whether a particular genus is required as a descriptor of the stratum at simpler levels in the NVIS Information Hierarchy and whether the word "mixed" should be appended to a stratum description.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: TAXON_DATA_SUMMARY_FLAG
Description: This is a data value added by the interpreter to a genus characteristic of (and usually dominant in) each level 5 stratum. A value of "Y" is carried through the description in levels 4 (and 3) descriptions in the VEG_DESCRIPTION table as a hat symbol, viz: "^", in front of the genus name. A value of "M" is carried through as a double hat "^^" for situations where the interpreter requires the word "mixed" to be appended to the level 4 (and 3) descriptions.
Value: Character(1); Valid entries: "Y", "M" or "N". A maximum of 2 genera per stratum can be marked ("Y") as descriptive of the stratum at simpler levels in the NVIS Information Hierarchy. If two genera are marked "Y" for a stratum (i.e. at Level 5), these can be in the same or different sub-strata in the corresponding Level 6 description. A maximum of 1 genus per stratum can be marked ("M") as descriptive of the stratum at simpler levels in the NVIS Information Hierarchy.
Example: Y
Comments: Note that this is an interpreted field relating to the suitability of the genus (not the species) for description of the stratum at simpler levels in the NVIS Information Hierarchy. "Unknown" is not an allowable option; "N" is the default. See Section 2 for further discussion of the up-arrow or hat nomenclature; Table 5 gives a summary of allowable uses. Where there are two ("Y") values are assigned in a vegetation description, the level 3 and 4 descriptions will have genus names written in the rank order specified in TAXON_DATA_RANK.
Status: New field. Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database. The second hat per stratum and the "M" option has not yet been implemented in application programming.
Look-up Table for: TAXON DATA SUMMARY FLAG
Code Explanation
Y The genus is descriptive of the stratum at simpler levels in the NVIS Information Hierarchy
M When combined with the word "mixed" in a vegetation description, the genus is more or less descriptive of the stratum at simpler levels in the NVIS Information Hierarchy
N The genus is not descriptive of the stratum at simpler levels in the NVIS Information Hierarchy. This is the default value.
Growth Form Information

Attribute: GF01 - GROWTH FORM RANK
Heading Details
Purpose: To rank each growth form within the (sub-)stratum in order of decreasing importance in describing the sub-stratum or stratum.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: GROWTH_ FORM_RANK (was: GROFRM_NUMBER)
Description: A number assigned to the growth form indicating the relative importance of the growth form in describing the sub-stratum.
Value: Number(10); Valid range for NVIS: 1-5, with no ties. Numbers greater than 5 are optional.
Example: 1
Comments: Importance is usually the dominance of the growth form in the (sub-)stratum, as estimated by biomass. However, once the co-dominant and sub-dominant growth forms have been listed, indicator growth forms (but not otherwise dominant) can be used to characterise the vegetation description.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: GF02 - GROWTH FORM CODE
Heading Details
Purpose: To provide a symbol and name for identifying growth forms in a (sub-)stratum.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: GROWTH_FORM_CODE
Description: The growth form code describes the habit of a plant, identified most precisely by the position of its perennating buds (Beadle & Costin, 1952).
Identification of the dominant growth form for each sub-stratum will contribute to the definition of the structural formation (see Table 4 and levels 1 to 6 in the table: VEG_DESCRIPTION).
Value: Character(20); This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: T
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Look-up Table for: GROWTH FORM CODE
Code Explanation
T tree - Woody plants, more than 2m tall with a single stem or branches well above the base.
M tree mallee - Woody perennial plant usually of the genus Eucalyptus. Multi-stemmed with fewer than 5 trunks of which at least 3 exceed 100mm at breast height (1.3m). Usually 8m or more.
S shrub - Woody plants multi-stemmed at the base (or within 200mm from ground level) or if single stemmed, less than 2m.
Y mallee shrub - Commonly less than 8m tall, usually with 5 or more trunks, of which at least three of the largest do not exceed 100mm at breast height (1.3m).
Z heath shrub - Shrub usually less than 2m, with sclerophyllous leaves having high fibre:protein ratios and with an area of nanophyll or smaller (less than 225 sq. m.). Often a member of one the following families: Epacridaceae, Myrtaceae, Fabaceae and Proteaceae. Commonly occur on nutrient-poor substrates.
C chenopod shrub -Single or multi-stemmed, semi-succulent shrub of the family Chenopodiaceae exhibiting drought and salt tolerance.
U samphire shrub - Genera (of Tribe Salicornioideae, viz: Halosarcia, Pachycornia, Sarcocornia, Sclerostegia, Tecticornia and Tegicornia) with articulate branches, fleshy stems and reduced flowers within the Chenopodiaceae family, succulent chenopods (Wilson 1980). Also the genus Sueda.
G tussock grass - Forms discrete but open tussocks usually with distinct individual shoots, or if not, then forming a hummock. These are the common agricultural grasses.
H hummock grass - Coarse xeromorphic grass with a mound-like form often dead in the middle; genera are Triodia and Plectrachne.
W other grass - Member of the family Poaceae, but having neither a distinctive tussock nor hummock appearance.
V sedge - Herbaceous, usually perennial erect plant generally with a tufted habit and of the families Cyperaceae (true sedges) or Restionaceae (node sedges).
R rush - Herbaceous, usually perennial erect monocot that is neither a grass nor a sedge. For the purposes of NVIS, rushes include the monocotyledon families Juncaceae, Typhaceae, Liliaceae, Iridaceae, Xyridaceae and the genus Lomandra. I.e. "graminoid" or grass-like genera.
F forb - Herbaceous or slightly woody, annual or sometimes perennial plant. (Usually a dicotyledon.).
D tree-fern - Characterised by large and usually branched leaves (fronds), arborescent and terrestrial; spores in sporangia on the leaves.
E fern - Ferns and fern allies. Characterised by large and usually branched leaves (fronds), herbaceous and terrestrial to aquatic; spores in sporangia on the leaves.
B bryophyte - Mosses and Liverworts. Mosses are small plants usually with a slender leaf-bearing stem with no true vascular tissue. Liverworts are often moss-like in appearance or consisting of a flat, ribbon-like green thallus.
N lichen - Composite plant consisting of a fungus living symbiotically with algae: without true roots, stems or leaves.
K epiphyte - Epiphytes, mistletoes and parasites. Plant with roots attached to the aerial portions of other plants. Often could also be another growth form, such as fern or forb.
L vine - Climbing, twining, winding or sprawling plants usually with a woody stem.
P palm - Palms and other arborescent monocotyledons. Members of the Arecaceae or the genus Pandanus. (Pandanus is often multi-stemmed).
X grass-tree - Australian grass trees. Members of the Xanthorroeaceae.
A cycad - Members of the families Cycadaceae and Zamiaceae
J seagrass - Flowering angiosperms forming sparse to dense mats of material at the subtidal and down to 30m below MSL. Occasionally exposed.
Q aquatic - Plant growing in an inland waterway or wetland with the majority of its biomass under water for most of the year. Fresh, saline or brackish water.
O lower plant - Alga, fungus.
unknown unknown
Attribute: GF03 - COVER TYPE
Heading Details
Purpose: To briefly specify the type of measure used in the COVER VALUE fields (MINIMUM, MAXIMUM, MEDIAN and/or MEAN) in the Growth Form table.
Requirement: Recommended
Database Field Name: COVER_TYPE
Description: The type of measure used for defining the GROWTH FORM COVER VALUES. The valid types are specified in COVER TYPE. This attribute must be completed if any of the COVER VALUE fields (MINIMUM, MAXIMUM, MEDIAN and/or MEAN) are recorded in the GROWTH_FORM table.
Value: Character(20); This is a value set from a defined lookup table:- Cover Type. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: 3N
Comments: **N.B. See ST05 COVER_TYPE for the lookup table.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: GF04 - COVER TYPE DERIVATION METHOD
Heading Details
Purpose: To provide further details on the type of measure used in the COVER VALUE in the Growth Form table.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_TYPE_DERIV_METHOD
Description: A more detailed description of the GROWTH FORM COVER TYPE recorded. Where a cover abundance rating is recorded, specify the system applied and a reference where applicable
Value: Character(2000).
Example: Braun-Blanquet
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: GF05 - COVER MINIMUM VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the minimum value of cover for the growth form in the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_MINIMUM_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the GROWTH FORM COVER TYPE, expressed as the minimum value for the growth form in the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N), a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) or a qualitative value (TYPE 9Q) may be provided for this attribute. This record relates to the lowest value of the range.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 10
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: GF06 - COVER MAXIMUM VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the maximum value of cover for the growth form in the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_MAXIMUM_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the GROWTH FORM COVER TYPE, expressed as the maximum value for the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N), a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) or a qualitative value (TYPE 9Q) may be provided for this attribute. This record relates to the highest value of the class.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 40
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: GF07 - COVER MEDIAN VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the median value of cover for the growth form in the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: COVER_MEDIAN_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the GROWTH FORM COVER TYPE, expressed as the median value for the growth form for the (sub-) stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N) or a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) may be provided for this attribute.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 26
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: GF08 - COVER MEAN VALUE
Heading Details
Purpose: To record the mean value of cover for the growth form in the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Recommended
Database Field Name: COVER_MEAN_VALUE
Description: A percentage value related to the attribute GR4 GROWTH FORM: COVER TYPE, expressed as the mean value for growth for the (sub-)stratum.
Actual values (TYPES 1N-4N) or a class value (TYPES 5C-8C) may be provided for this attribute.
Value: Number(5,1); Valid entries 0.0-100.0; Missing/unknown values = -9999
Example: 40
Comments:  
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Attribute: GF09 - GROWTH FORM DOMINANCE QUALIFIER
Heading Details
Purpose: To indicate the type of dominance of the growth form in the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Recommended
Database Field Name: GR_FORM_DOMINANCE_QUALIFIER
Description: A value of dominance for the growth form in the sub-stratum. Dominance is the relative contribution the growth form makes to the biomass of the (sub-)stratum. Dominance can relate to the spatial extent of a growth form in a vegetation type as well as its dominance at sites. Please see Glossary (Appendix A) for further definitions.
Value: Character(20); This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: indicator
Comments: The procedures used to generate the contents of this field need to be comprehensively documented in the Data Set table, for each data set.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database. The information content needs to be reconciled with the obsolete field GR 2 DOMINANCE_SEPARATOR. Where this cannot be done automatically, the data custodians will need to supply the correct interpretation. Also, codes from Version 5.0 need to be converted to words.
Look-up Table for: GROWTH FORM DOMINANCE QUALIFIER
Code Explanation
dominant Dominant growth form.
co-dominant A co-dominant growth form is one which has equal dominance to one or more other growth forms.
sub-dominant A sub-dominant growth form is one which occurs frequently in the vegetation type but has a lesser relative biomass than the dominant growth form.
indicator A characteristic or indicator growth form that is not otherwise dominant in the vegetation type.
other A growth form that is not a dominant, co-dominant, sub-dominant or characteristic/indicator species.
unknown unknown
Attribute: GF10 - GROWTH FORM FREQUENCY
Heading Details
Purpose: To specify the frequency of a particular growth form across the sub-stratum.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: GROWTH_FORM_FREQUENCY
Description: This code is a summary of the number of sites with a particular growth form divided by the total number of sites.
Value: Character(20); This is a value set from a defined lookup table. The values in the lookup table are set by the administrator and cannot be added to.
Example: A
Comments: The derivation of this field needs to be comprehensively documented in the Data Set table, for each data set.
Status: Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.
Look-up Table for: GROWTH FORM FREQUENCY
Code Explanation
A High frequency (abundant) >80%
C Moderate frequency (common) 50-80%
O Low frequency (occasional) 10-50%
R Infrequent (rare) less than 10%
not applicable not applicable
unknown unknown
Attribute: GF12 - GROWTH FORM ALWAYS THERE
Heading Details
Purpose: To indicate whether the growth form is always present throughout the extent of the vegetation type.
Requirement: Optional
Database Field Name: GROWTH_FORM_ALWAYS_THERE
Description: This attribute is used to specify whether a +/- symbol is generated in the vegetation description at levels 5 and 6.
Value: Character(20); a value of N generates a +/- separator symbol in the level 5 and 6 attributes in the Vegetation Description Table.
Example: N
Comments: This field appears to duplicate FREQUENCY, but is meant to be a simple interpretation of frequency in the context of generating vegetation descriptions with +/- symbols between relevant growth forms. There is considerable scope to create and apply a rule, here, when FREQUENCY data are available in the record.
Status: New field. Yet to be implemented in the NVIS Oracle database. Some information content can be retrieved from DOMINANCE_SEPARATOR in version 5.0 and from SOURCE_CODE. Where this cannot be done automatically, the data custodians will need to supply the correct interpretation.
Look-up Table for: GROWTH FORM ALWAYS THERE
Code Explanation
Y Yes. The growth form is always found in the vegetation type. Where quantitative frequency data are available, frequencies greater than 80% (FREQUENCY = 'A'; i.e. high frequency/abundant) generate a Yes value. This generates a "," separator for the growth form in the level 5 and 6 attributes in the Vegetation Description Table. Where FREQUENCY = 'C' and ALWAYS_THERE = 'Y' a rule could be developed to generate a warning.
N No. The growth form may or may not be present. Where quantitative frequency data are available, frequencies less than 80% (FREQUENCY = 'C', 'O', 'R', 'not applicable' and 'unknown'; i.e. lower frequency values) generate a No value This generates a +/- separator symbol for the growth form in the level 5 and 6 attributes in the Vegetation Description Table.
unknown unknown. This option generates a "," separator for the growth form in the level 5 and 6 attributes in the Vegetation Description Table.
Attribute: GF13 - GROWTH FORM SUMMARY FLAG
Heading Details
Purpose: To give a simple indication as to whether the particular growth form is required as a descriptor of the stratum at simpler levels in the NVIS Information Hierarchy.
Requirement: Essential
Database Field Name: GROWTH_FORM_SUMMARY_FLAG
Description: This is a Boolean field added to a characteristic (and usually dominant) growth form for the stratum in level 5. The same growth form can be marked in Level 6, but in only one sub-stratum per stratum. It is carried through the description in upper levels of the NVIS Information Hierarchy as a hat symbol, viz: "^", in front of the growth form.
Value: Character(1); Valid entries: "Y" or "N"; "T" or "F". Only one hat per stratum is permitted.
Example: Y
Comments: Note that this is an interpreted field relating to the suitability of the growth form for description of the stratum at simpler levels in the NVIS Information Hierarchy. See Section 2 for further discussion of the up-arrow or hat nomenclature. "Unknown" is not an allowable option; suggest "N" as the default.
Status: New field. Implemented in the NVIS Oracle database.