The vegetation classification in China was updated by referring to recent advances for vegetation classification worldwide and on the basis of our former paper Recognition and Proposal on the Vegetation Classification System of China (hereafter, “Recognition and Proposal”). In this revision, the criteria for vegetation classification were discussed and unified, and a quantified standard for high, medium, and low level units in a new hierarchical classification scheme was supplemented. Compared with the old classification scheme in “Recognition and Proposal”, the units at the level of vegetation type were substantially changed. Finally, in order to improve mutual communication among international peers, a comparison was carried out between the new revised scheme and each of International Classification and Mapping of Vegetation of UNESCO, The National Vegetation Classification Standard of United States, and The Braun-Blanquet Classification Scheme.
We discuss standards for the data analysis portion of the materials and methods section of ecology theses. We also comment on statistical questions frequently encountered in ecological theses, including: more effective statistical approaches, correlated dependent variables, heteroscedasticity, statistical significance vs. biology/ecology significance, and pseudo-replication.
An encyclopedia of Chinese vegetation is going to be compiled as a series of books, and comments are sought to revise the “Vegetation Classification System of China” (VCSC). These require several key decisions. First, the principle of VCSC proposed by Vegetation of China (1980) that “the higher rank of classification unit would be based on the physiognomy of vegetation, while the middle and lower rank emphasized on species composition and community structure” should be maintained because it is corresponding with the current trends of international vegetation classifications. Second, VCSC should classify Chinese vegetation to be compatible with global vegetation classification, so that the terms and concepts will be widely accepted internationally. Third, “Association”, a fundamental classification unit described by the series of books of Chinese vegetation, should be defined and used consistently, so that misunderstandings between northern and southern associations can be avoided. Fourth, the hierarchy in the classification of vegetation generally should be rigid, but different ranks remain open and flexible, i.e., upper-level units can be supplemented to meet future needs. A draft of the VCSC (from class to vegetation type) is proposed in this paper.
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