Northeast Regional Floristic Quality Assessment
The Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) is a widely used method for ecological condition assessments in the United States. The foundation of the index is the conservatism concept, which estimates a species' ecological sensitivity or propensity to occur in areas least-altered by humans. Plant species are assigned coefficients of conservatism (CoC) where ruderal and exotic species receive the lowest scores, competitors and matrix species intermediate scores, and remnant-dependent species the highest scores. The method has spread to over half of the United States, but New York and New England have lacked CoC coverage. With funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and using nine of some of the region's most experienced botanists, an effort was undertaken to assign CoC scores for the complete vascular flora of each New England state and New York State.