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The Succession Classes (SCLASS) layer characterizes current vegetation conditions with respect to the vegetation species composition, cover, and height ranges of successional states that occur within each biophysical setting. SCLASS can also represent uncharacteristic vegetation components, such as exotic species, that are not found within the compositional or structural variability of successional states defined for a biophysical setting. Succession classes do not directly quantify fuel characteristics of the current vegetation, but rather represent vegetative states with unique succession or disturbance-related dynamics, such as structural development or fire frequency.
To produce SCLASS, the historical reference conditions of these successional states were derived from the vegetation and disturbance dynamics model VDDT (Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool) (LF_1.0.0 CONUS only used the vegetation and disturbance dynamics model LANDSUM). The area contained in succession classes is compared to the simulated historical reference conditions to calculate measurements of vegetation departure, such as fire regime condition class.
SCLASS is used in landscape assessments.