Invalid Unit Specified
Formation Detail Report: F018
Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland Formation

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland is dominated by broad-leaved evergreen trees, sometimes with dwarfed stems and small, sclerophyllous leaves (in Mediterranean climates), or various combinations of broad-leaved deciduous, broad-leaved evergreen and needle-leaved evergreen conifer trees. Winters are mild (mostly frost-free) and may be the rainiest season, springs are temperate-humid, summers are hot-dry, and autumn is often dry.
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Translated Name:Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland Formation
Colloquial Name:Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland
Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland is found in North America (Mediterranean Basin and Mediterranean of California, the warm, dry interior of Great Basin and Madrean regions, and warm-temperate regions of the Southeastern Coastal Plain), Chile, South Africa, Australia, India and Southeast Asia. The climate is mild with mostly frost-free and often rainy winters, temperate-humid springs, and hot-dry summers. The vegetation varies from (a) dominance by broad-leaved evergreen trees, sometimes with dwarfed stems, and microphyll to small mesophyll leaves, with varying levels of sclerophylly (Mediterranean) to (b) various combinations of broad-leaved deciduous, broad-leaved evergreen or needle-leaved evergreen conifer trees. Natural disturbances include wind and fire.
Broad-leaved evergreen trees, sometimes with dwarfed stems, microphyll to small mesophyll leaves, sclerophyllous (Mediterranean); or various combinations of broad-leaved deciduous, broad-leaved evergreen or needle-leaved evergreen conifer trees. Mild (mostly frost-free) winter, temperate humid spring, hot-dry summer, and mild, often dry autumn seasons. Rainy season in winter and dry summers (Mediterranean).
Vegetation Hierarchy
Name:Database Code:Classification Code:
Class 1 Forest & Woodland C01 1
Subclass 1.B Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland S15 1.B
Formation 1.B.1 Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland F018 1.B.1
Division 1.B.1.Nd Madrean-Balconian Forest & Woodland D060 1.B.1.Nd
Division 1.B.1.Nc Californian Forest & Woodland D007 1.B.1.Nc
Division 1.B.1.Na Southeastern North American Forest & Woodland D006 1.B.1.Na
The warm-temperate Mediterranean regions around the world typically contain both the classic Mediterranean scrub (2.B.1. Mediterranean Scrub & Grassland Formation (F038)), and the forests and woodlands included here. Cool-temperate and warm-temperate forests may be difficult to distinguish, but cool-temperate forests are more strongly dominated by broad-leaved deciduous trees, and broad-leaved evergreen trees are essentially absent. Braun (1950) includes at least parts of these warm-temperate forests in her "Deciduous Forest Formation" (the "Southeastern Evergreen Forest Region"), but briefly notes a "Subtropical Broad-leaved Evergreen Forest" that includes central Florida southward.

Various ecoregional treatments recognize the distinct vegetation and climate of the warm-temperate region, e.g., Brown et al. (1998) separates cool-temperate from warm-temperate vegetation. Walter (1985) recognizes two warm-temperate biomes, the "Zonobiome of the Winter-Rain Region with an Arid-Humid Climate and Sclerophyllic Woodlands" (Zone IV) and the "Zonobiome of the Warm-Temperate Humid Climate" (Zone V), distinct from the cool-temperate biome "Zonobiome of the Temperate-Nemoral Climate" (Zone VI) and the boreal biome "Zonobiome of the Cold-Temperate Boreal Climate" (Zone VIII). Similarly, Schultz (1995) recognizes the two warm-temperate regions, which he refers to as: "Mediterranean-Type subtropics" (with world distribution shown in his Figure 129) and "Humid subtropics" (with world distribution shown in his Figure 171). We prefer the term warm-temperate to subtropics. Schultz states that "apart from the driest sites and those with lowest nutrient contents, all the regions of the Mediterranean-Type subtropics were originally covered by forests of mostly evergreen sclerophyllous species of trees" and in the European Mediterranean region, these were mostly evergreen oak, such as Quercus ilex. Today, many of these regions are more typically dominated by sclerophyllous shrub formations, as described in 2.B.1 Mediterranean Scrub & Grassland Formation (F038).
Synonomy: = Warm Temperate Forest and Woodland (Brown et al. 1998)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Brady and Weil 2002
  • Braun 1950
  • Brown et al. 1998
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2015c
  • Schultz 1995
  • Soil Survey Staff 1999
  • Walter 1985
States/Provinces:
Nations:CA, US
Range:Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland is found in the Mediterranean Basin and Mediterranean and warm-temperate regions in North America (California, Southeastern Coastal Plain), Chile, South Africa, Australia, India and Southeast Asia.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name:
Province Code:   Occurrence Status:
Section Name:
Section Code:     Occurrence Status:
The vegetation varies from (a) dominance by broad-leaved evergreen trees, sometimes with dwarfed stems, and microphyll to small mesophyll leaves, with varying levels of sclerophylly (Mediterranean) to (b) various combinations of broad-leaved deciduous, broad-leaved evergreen or needle-leaved evergreen conifer trees. Natural disturbances include wind and fire.
Climate: Freezing temperatures of short duration are expected, generally occurring every year during winter months. The potential growing season is more than 200 days with less than an average of 150 days a year subject to temperatures below 0°C or chilling fog (Brown et al. 1998). Spring is mild, summers are hot-dry, and autumns are mild and often dry. Rainy season in winter is most strong in Mediterranean climates. Average annual precipitation varies from 25 to 100 cm (10-40 inches).

Soil/substrate/hydrology: Soils are often strongly weathered. Soils are various, with Ultisols and Alfisols most common, and productive, but in some regions the soils are worn by thousands of years of human use (Soil Survey Staff 1999) [see Brady and Weil (2002) for comparison of U.S. soil orders with Canadian and FAO systems].
Moderate
No Data Available
Authors:
D. Faber-Langendoen      Version Date: 17Oct2014


References:
  • Brady, N. C., and R. R. Weil. 2002. The nature and properties of soils. Thirteenth edition. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Braun, E. L. 1950. Deciduous forests of eastern North America. Hafner Press, New York. 596 pp.
  • Brown, D. E., F. Reichenbacher, and S. E. Franson. 1998. A classification of North American biotic communities. The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. 141 pp.
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, and E. Helmer. 2015c. Classification and description of world formation types. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-000. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO.
  • Schultz, J. 1995. The ecozones of the world. Springer-Verlag, New York.
  • Soil Survey Staff. 1999. Soil taxonomy: A basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys. Second edition. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington, DC.
  • Walter, H., translated by O. Muise. 1985. Vegetation of the Earth and ecological systems of the geo-biosphere. Third edition. Springer-Verlag, New York. 149 pp.


USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

Date Accessed:

To cite a description:
Author(s). publicationYear. Description Title [last revised revisionDate]. United States National Vegetation Classification. Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, D.C.

About spatial standards:
The United States Federal Geographic Data Committee (hereafter called the FGDC) is tasked to develop geospatial data standards that will enable sharing of spatial data among producers and users and support the growing National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), acting under the Office of Management Budget (OMB) Circular A-16 (OMB 1990, 2000) and Executive Order #12906 (Clinton 1994) as amended by Executive Order #13286 (Bush 2003). FGDC subcommittees and working groups, in consultation and cooperation with state, local, tribal, private, academic, and international communities, develop standards for the content, quality, and transferability of geospatial data. FGDC standards are developed through a structured process, integrated with one another to the extent possible, supportable by the current vendor community (but are independent of specific technologies), and publicly available.

About this document
This document contains type descriptions at the Formation level of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. These descriptions were primarily written by NatureServe ecologists in collaboration with Federal Geographic Data Committee Vegetation Subcommittee and a wide variety of state, federal and private partners as a part of the implementation of the National Vegetation Classification. Formation descriptions were written by the Hierarchy Revisions Working Group. The descriptions are based on consultation with natural resource professionals, published literature, and other vegetation classification systems. The Ecological Society of America's Panel on Vegetation Classification is responsible for managing the review and formal adoption of these types into the National Vegetation Classification. Partners involved in the implementation of the USNVC include:

U.S. Government
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of the Interior (USDI)
  • Forest Service (FS) - Chair
  • National Agriculture Statistical Service (NASS)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • U.S. Navy (NAVY)
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
  • National Park Service (NPS)
  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Non U.S. Government
  • NatureServe (NS)
  • Ecological Society of America (ESA)

Disclaimer:
Given the dynamic nature of the standard, it is possible a type description is incomplete or in revision at the time of download; therefore, users of the data should track the date of access and read the revisions section of the USNVC.org website to understand the current status of the classification. While USNVC data have undergone substantial review prior to posting, it is possible that some errors or inaccuracies have remained undetected.

For information on the process used to develop these descriptions see:

Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, D. Tart, B. Hoagland, C. Josse, G. Navarro, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, A. Weakley, P. Comer. 2014. EcoVeg: A new approach to vegetation description and classification. Ecological Monographs 84:533-561 (erratum 85:473).

Franklin, S., D. Faber-Langendoen, M. Jennings, T. Keeler-Wolf, O. Loucks, A. McKerrow, R.K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2012. Building the United States National Vegetation Classification. Annali di Botanica 2: 1-9.

Jennings, M. D., D. Faber-Langendoen, O. L. Louckes, R. K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2009. Standards for associations and alliances of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. Ecological Monographs 79(2):173-199.

FGDC [Federal Geographic Data Committee]. 2008. Vegetation Classification Standard, FGDC-STD-005, Version 2. Washington, DC., USA. [http://www.fgdc.gov/standards/projects/FGDC-standards-projects/vegetation/NVCS_V2_FINAL_2008-02.pdf]

For additional information contact:

  • Implementation of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification Standard - Alexa McKerrow (amckerrow@usgs.gov)
  • NatureServe's Development of NVC Type Descriptions - Don Faber-Langendoen (don_faber- langendoen@natureserve.org)
  • Ecological Society of America's Review of the Type Descriptions Scott.Franklin@unco.edu
  • Federal Geographic Data Committee - Vegetation Subcommittee's Activities - Marianne Burke (mburke@fs.fed.us)