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The Environmental Site Potential (ESP) layer represents the vegetation that could be supported at a given site based on the biophysical environment.
Map units are based on NatureServe's Ecological Systems classification and represent the natural plant communities that may have been present during the reference period. ESP map units represent the natural plant communities that would become established at late or climax stages of successional development in the absence of disturbance. They reflect the current climate and physical environment, as well as the competitive potential of native plant species. The ESP concept is similar to that used in classifications of potential vegetation, including habitat types and plant associations.
ESP is used in LANDFIRE to inform the existing vegetation and fuel mapping processes.