The floristic quality assessment (FQA) is a vegetation-based ecological assessment approach that the MPCA uses for wetland monitoring. It's based on the coefficient of conservatism (C), a numerical rating (0–10) of a species’ fidelity to specific habitats and tolerance of disturbance. Plants that have narrow habitat requirements and little tolerance to disturbance have high C-values and vice versa. FQA metrics derived from vegetation data and C-values are effective wetland-quality indicators, similar to indices of biological integrity.
Rapid floristic quality assessment
The rapid FQA incorporates a simplified sampling approach that relies on a limited plant species checklist and meander-type sampling that can be done rapidly, coupled with assessment criteria to translate data into meaningful results. It's designed so that natural resource professionals with a moderate botanical expertise can make reliable wetland quality assessments more quickly. See the Rapid floristic quality assessment manual and tools for guidance on performing rapid FQAs: