The vegetation (living and dead), biological crusts and stone that is in contact with the soil surface. Nonwoody groundcover such as crops, grass forbs and chenopod-type shrubs may change monthly rather than annually, making this component a good indicator of land management performance. Groundcover is a subcomponent of land cover and can be used to infer land management practices. From a remote sensing perspective, it is the fractional cover of the nonwoody understorey.