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Canada's Ecozones
Ecozones image


Ecozones is a name given to one of the many ways to classify ecological systems. Other systems exist and the number of categories in some of them can be staggering. When trying to classify an area as large as Canada, the best approach is to have nested levels of classifications, so that a manageable number of categories exist when looking at the country as a whole while smaller areas still get their own category at another level.

The National Ecological Framework for Canada (Ecological Stratification Working Group 1996) uses ecozones for their classification. At the largest scale, there are fifteen terrestrial and five marine ecozones. These ecozones are so large that the maritime provinces can all fit into one of them (Atlantic Maritime). Smaller than the ecozones are the ecoregions, and the ecodistricts are smaller yet. Each smaller-scale classification fits nicely into the larger classification. There are over 200 ecoregions in Canada and even more ecodistricts, so this site will only deal with ecozones.

Ecozones are large and very generalized, having roughly the same land features, climate and organisms throughout them. Still, there are inevitably still many differences across that large an area of land. Detailing those differences is done at the ecoregion and ecodistrict levels.

This section has two parts. The first details the physical factors that create the ecozones, while the second contains detailed maps and descriptions of the ecozones themselves.

Part 1 Physical conditions in Canada

Part 2 Canada's ecozones


Physical conditions in Canada