The Ecological Site Classification Decision Support System (ESC-DSS) is a PC-based system to help guide forest managers and planners to select ecologically suited species to sites, instead of selecting a species and trying to modify the site to suit.
ESC-DSS is designed to match key site factors with the ecological requirements of different tree species and woodland communities, as defined in the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) for Great Britain.
It provides a user friendly way of working out options for tree species and native woodland communities on individual sites. The user is required to input just three pieces of site information:
- Grid reference
- Soil type.
More precise estmates of soil quality and suitability of tree species and woodland communities can be obtained by inputting more detailed site information.
ESC-DSS assesses the suitability of a range of tree species and NVC woodland communities. The evaluation is based on the match between key site factors and the ecological requirements of different species and the ecology of woodland communities defined in the NVC.