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The ecozones of Canada consist of fifteen terrestrial and five marine ecozones in Canada. These are further subdivided into 53 ecoprovinces, 194 ecoregions, and 1021 ecodistricts.[1][2] An ecozone is a large sub-continental geographical division with distinct representative biotic and abiotic features in the ecological unit.[2]

Contents

Marine ecozonesEdit

The Canadian marine ecozones adjoin to each other, except for the Pacific ecozone which is adjacent to international marine ecozones and terrestrial Canadian ecozones. The largest is the Arctic Archipelago, which actually extends to subarctic regions.

Ecozone Area (km²)
Territorial waters
Area (km²)
Exclusive Economic Zone
Percentage of total area (for EEZ) Percentage of marine area (for EEZ)
Pacific Marine 102,920 457,646 3.1 8.3
Arctic Basin Marine 24,997 704,849 4.8 12.7
Arctic Archipelago Marine 2,051,393 2,178,998 14.8 39.3
Northwest Atlantic Marine 536,895 1,205,981 8.2 21.8
Atlantic Marine 72,144 996,439 6.8 17.9
Total 2,788,349 5,543,913 37.7 100.0

Terrestrial ecozonesEdit

The largest Canadian ecozone is the Boreal Shield,[3] an expanse of diverse ecoregions situated on the Canadian Shield.

Ecozone Area (1000 km²) Percentage of total area Percentage of land area Percentage protected[4]
Pacific Maritime 207.3 1.4 2.2 25.1
Semi-Arid Plateaux 55.9 0.4 0.6 9.1
Montane Cordillera 426.3 2.8 4.5 18.6
Boreal Cordillera 526.8 3.4 5.5 19.3
Taiga Cordillera 217.5 1.4 2.3 8.8
Arctic Cordillera 239.1 1.6 2.5 25.6
Northern Arctic 1,438.0 9.4 15.0 6.8
Southern Arctic 895.8 5.8 9.4 16.6
Taiga Plains 522.2 3.4 5.5 7.7
Taiga Shield 1,262.0 8.2 13.2 7.6
Boreal Plains 750.6 4.9 7.8 7.7
Prairies 459.6 3.0 4.8 6.3
Hudson Plains 339.2 2.2 3.5 13.0
Boreal Shield 1,868.5 12.2 19.5 9.2
Mixed Wood Plains 176 0.8 1.3 1.8
Atlantic Highlands 94.5 0.6 1.0 4.0
Atlantic Maritime 115.2 0.8 1.2 5.4
Total 9,566.3 62.4 100.0 10.4

SubdivisionsEdit

The terrestrial ecozones are divided into 53 ecoprovinces. These are major geographical units with a characteristic macro climate, whose constituent physiographic forms, faunal and floral realms, hydrological systems and soils are inter-related. An ecoprovince is fully contained within only one ecozone.[2] These subdivisions were defined in accordance with environmental provisions which established the Commission for Environmental Cooperation in 1994, under the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico.[2] These were needed to address ecological issues common to, or overlapping the borders of, the three countries. They are also useful for national and regional planning.

An ecoregion further divides an ecoprovince, though no ecoregion extends beyond one ecoprovince. These geographical units exhibit regional ecological characteristics distinct from neighbouring ecoregions, though there are typically gradual gradations between them.[2] There are 194 ecoregions.

An ecodistrict is a portion of one ecoregion having a unique collection of landforms, fauna, flora, soils, geological composition, and water features.[2] Originally, 1031 ecodistricts were defined, but ten were later removed, leaving 1021 current districts.

Further subdivisions include ecosections, ecosites, and the smallest unit, ecoelements.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ecological Framework: Abstract". Atlas of Canada. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  2. ^ a b c d e f I. B. Marshall and P. H. Schut (1999). "A NATIONAL ECOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK FOR CANADA, Overview". Environment Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  3. ^ Wiken, Ed. "Casting the bottom line on the blue planet". Natural Resources Canada. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
  4. ^ "Percent of ecozones that are protected in Canada, 2013". Protected Areas Data Tables. Environment Canada. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  5. ^ "Human Activity and the Environment: Annual Statistics". Statistics Canada. 2006. Retrieved January 23, 2012. From the broadest to the smallest, the hierarchical classification consists of seven levels of generalization: ecozones, ecoprovinces, ecoregions, ecodistricts, ecosections, ecosites and ecoelements.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit