There are several ways to classify habitats and ecosystems in Scotland. Most recently Scottish Natural Heritage has developed a new map using the European Nature Information System (EUNIS). Other systems include the Phase 1 Habitat Classification and the National Vegetation Classification (NVC).
The European Nature Information System (EUNIS) habitat classification is a pan-European system, developed between 1996 and 2001 by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in collaboration with experts from throughout Europe. It covers all types of natural and artificial habitats, both aquatic and terrestrial. For more information go to the website of the Joint Nature Conservation Commitee (JNCC). The map below is taken from the preliminary EUNIS map of Scotland developed by SNH and identifies ten different broad scale habitat types on the Isle of Mull.
National Vegetation Classification
The National Vegetation Classification (NVC) is one of the common standard developed for the country nature conservation agencies. The aim was to produce a comprehensive classification and description of the plant communities of Britain, each systematically named and arranged and with standardised descriptions for each. It was commissioned in 1975 as a new classification, not an attempt to fit British plant communities into an existing scheme from elsewhere. For more information go to the website of the Joint Nature Conservation Commitee (JNCC).
Phase 1 Habitat Classification
The Phase 1 Habitat Classification and associated field survey technique provide a standardised system to record semi-natural vegetation and other wildlife habitats. The approach is designed to cover large areas of countryside relatively rapidly. It presents the user with a basic assessment of habitat type and potential importance for nature conservation. Each habitat type/feature is identified by way of a brief description of its defining features. It is then allocated a specific name, an alpha-numeric code, and unique mapping colour. For more information go to the website of the Joint Nature Conservation Commitee (JNCC).
This page last updated on 23 Jun 2015