Kinds of Ecological Communities
Planted/Cultivated Areas Vegetation
- Dominated by vegetation which has been planted in its current
location by humans and/or is treated with annual tillage, a
modified conservation tillage or other intensive management or
- The majority of these areas are planted and/or maintained for
the production of food, fiber or seed.
- Plant communities that appear not to have been modified by
human activities or to have only been marginally impacted by such
- Where impacts are apparent, there exists a clear, naturally
maintained analogue for the existing physiognomic and floristic
- Plant communities where the species composition
and/or the structure of the vegetation has been altered through
anthropogenic disturbance such that no clear natural analogue is
- Vegetation resulting from succession following anthropogenic
disturbance of an area.
- They are generally characterized by unnatural combinations of
species. (These are primarily native species though they often
contain slight to substantial numbers and amounts of species alien
to the region as well.)
- Dominated by invasive alien species.
- Though these communities are often casually considered as
"planted/cultivated", they are spontaneous, self-perpetuating and
not the (immediate) result of planting, cultivation or human
- Land occupied by invasive communities is generally permanently
altered (converted) unless restoration efforts are undertaken.
- Vegetation resulting from the management or modification of
natural/near-natural vegetation but producing a structural and
floristic combination not clearly known to have a natural
- Modified vegetation may be easily restorable by either
management, time or restoration of ecological processes.
Grossman, D.H., D. Faber-Langendoen, A.S. Weakley, M. Anderson et.
al. 1998. International classification of ecological communities;
terrestrial vegetation of the United States. Vol. 1, The national
vegetation classification system: development, status and
applications. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington VA.