Final Report

An Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA) is needed to develop an effective Arctic terrestrial monitoring program and provide a standardized vegetation framework and data for an Arctic Vegetation Classification (AVC), land-cover mapping, ecological experiments, modeling, and biodiversity studies. Insufficient and non-standardized Arctic vegetation plot data are available to accomplish this task. The recently launched AVA and AVC aim to fill this knowledge gap.

The AVA and AVC would cover the entire Arctic tundra biome, the first for any of the world’s major biomes. This is achievable because the Arctic is the only biome that has its entire list of known vascular plants, mosses and lichens documented in up-to-date flora checklists developed by taxonomists within the CAFF Flora Group. Also the amount of vegetation plot data from the Arctic is still relatively modest compared to other biomes (approximately 31,000 plots). A large body of international experience and collaboration with database experts in other regions will also help to make the Arctic task feasible.



  • An Arctic Vegetation Archive is an essential first step for developing an Arctic Vegetation Classification, monitoring change in terrestrial ecosystems, and developing a circumpolar framework for studying and modeling changes to the Arctic.
  • Major progress on the AVA was achieved since the first AVA workshop in Krakow, including completion of the Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive, and recent efforts toward using this in developing an Arctic Vegetation Classification.
  • Many of the legacy data in the AVA were collected using non-standardized protocols. Going forward, new datasets should incorporate standardized methodologies for surveys, archiving, and analysis of Arctic plot data; workshops to develop these protocols should probably be proposed as part of the Arctic Observing Network activities.


Workshop Materials

Workshop Report

Workshop Slides


Date and Location: 

30 - 31 March 2017 | Prague (Czech Republic)


IASC Working Group / Committees funding the Project:


Project Lead

Skip Walker


Year funded by IASC



Project Status





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