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Atlantic Maritime Ecozone evidence for key findings summary

This report is also available in PDF format. Atlantic Maritime Ecozone+ Evidence for Key Findings Summary (PDF; 5.09 MB)

Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010
Evidence for Key Findings Summary Report No. 3
Published by the Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Atlantic Maritime Ecozone+ evidence for key findings summary.

Issued also in French under title:
Sommaire des éléments probants relativement aux constatations clés pour l’écozone+ maritime de l’Atlantique.

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Cover photos: Margaree Valley, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, © / cworthy;
Hopewell Rocks, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, © / MorganLeFaye

This report should be cited as:
ESTR Secretariat. 2014. Atlantic Maritime Ecozone+ evidence for key findings summary. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Evidence for Key Findings Summary Report No. 3. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. ix + 100 p.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2014
Aussi disponible en français


The Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers developed a Biodiversity Outcomes FrameworkFootnote1 in 2006 to focus conservation and restoration actions under the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy.Footnote2 Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010Footnote3 was the first report under this framework. It presents 22 key findings that emerged from synthesis and analysis of background technical reports prepared on the status and trends for many cross-cutting national themes (the Technical Thematic Report Series) and for individual terrestrial and marine ecozones+ of Canada (the Ecozone+ Status and Trends Assessment Report Series). More than 500 experts participated in data analysis, writing, and review of these foundation documents. Summary reports were also prepared for each terrestrial ecozone+ to present the ecozone+-specific evidence related to each of the 22 national key findings (the Evidence for Key Findings Summary Report Series). Together, the full complement of these products constitutes the 2010 Ecosystem Status and Trends Report (ESTR).

This report, Atlantic Maritime Ecozone+ Evidence for Key Findings Summary, presents evidence from the Atlantic Maritime Ecozone+ Status and Trends AssessmentFootnote4 related to the 22 national key findings and highlights important trends specific to this ecozone+. It is not a comprehensive assessment of all ecosystem-related information. The level of detail presented on each key finding varies and important issues or datasets may have been missed. Also, because of the report’s timing or a lack of readily available ecozone+-specific information, some key findings were not addressed. Some emphasis has been placed on information from the national Technical Thematic Report Series. As in all ESTR products, the time frames over which trends are assessed vary--both because time frames that are meaningful for these diverse aspects of ecosystems vary and because the assessment is based on the best available information, which is over a range of time periods.

Ecological classification system – ecozones+

A slightly modified version of the Terrestrial Ecozones of Canada, described in the National Ecological Framework for Canada,Footnote5 provided the ecosystem-based units for all reports related to this project. Modifications from the original framework include: adjustments to terrestrial boundaries to reflect improvements from ground-truthing exercises; the combination of three Arctic ecozones into one; the use of two ecoprovinces--Western Interior Basin and Newfoundland Boreal; the addition of nine marine ecosystem-based units; and, the addition of the Great Lakes as a unit. This modified classification system is referred to as “ecozones+” throughout these reports to avoid confusion with the more familiar “ecozones” of the original framework.Footnote6 The boundary for the Atlantic Maritime is the same in both frameworks.

Map of the ecozones+ of Canada


Long Description for map of the ecozones

This map of Canada shows the ecological classification framework for the Ecosystem Status and Trends Report, named “ecozones+”. This map shows the distribution of 15 terrestrial ecozones+, two large lake ecozones+, and nine marine ecozones+.


The ESTR Secretariat acknowledges Trish Hayes, Dan Beaudette (New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources), and Greg Sheehy for the preparation of various drafts of this report. The report was overseen and edited by Trish Hayes and Patrick Lilley. Kelly Badger was the lead graphics designer. Additional support was provided by Jodi Frisk, Isabelle Turcotte, Eric Jacobsen, Ellorie McKnight, Michelle Connolly, and others. It is based on the Atlantic Maritime Ecozone+ Status and Trends Assessment.4 Other experts made significant contributions to that draft report and are listed below. Reviews were provided by scientists and resource managers from relevant provincial/territorial and federal government agencies. The Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution also coordinated reviews with external experts.

Atlantic Maritime Ecozone+ Draft Status and Trends Assessment acknowledgements

Lead author: S. Eaton

Contributing authors: J. Barr, D. Beaudette, T. Hayes

Contributing authors, specific sections or topics: Ecosystem services: G. MacAskill
Climate change impacts in St. Lawrence: J.-P. Savard and R. Siron

Authors of ESTR Technical Thematic Reports from which material is drawn:

  • Canadian climate trends, 1950-2007: X. Zhang, R. Brown, L. Vincent, W. Skinner, Y. Feng and E. Mekis
  • Trends in large fires in Canada, 1959-2007: C.C. Krezek-Hanes, F. Ahern, A. Cantin and M.D. Flannigan
  • Wildlife pathogens and diseases in Canada: F.A. Leighton
  • Trends in breeding waterfowl in Canada: M. Fast, B. Collins and M. Gendron
  • Landbird trends in Canada, 1968-2006: C. Downes, P. Blancher and B. Collins
  • Trends in Canadian shorebirds: C. Gratto-Trevor, R.I.G. Morrison, B. Collins, J. Rausch and V. Johnston
  • Trends in wildlife habitat capacity on agricultural land in Canada, 1986-2006: S.K. Javorek and M.C. Grant
  • Trends in residual soil nitrogen for agricultural land in Canada, 1981-2006: C.F. Drury, J.Y. Yang and R. De Jong
  • Soil erosion on cropland: introduction and trends for Canada: B.G. McConkey, D.A. Lobb, S. Li, J.M.W. Black and P.M. Krug
  • Monitoring biodiversity remotely: a selection of trends measured from satellite observations of Canada: F. Ahern, J. Frisk, R. Latifovic and D. Pouliot
  • Inland colonial waterbird and marsh bird trends for Canada: D.V.C. Weseloh
  • Climate-driven trends in Canadian streamflow, 1961-2003: A. Cannon, T. Lai and P. Whitfield
  • Biodiversity in Canadian lakes and rivers: W.A. Monk and D.J. Baird

Review conducted by scientists and renewable resource and wildlife managers from provincial and federal government agencies through a review process administered by the ESTR Steering Committee.
Additional reviews of specific sections were conducted by external experts in their field of expertise.

Direction provided by the ESTR Steering Committee composed of representatives of federal, provincial, and territorial agencies.

Editing, synthesis, technical contributions, maps and graphics, and report production by the ESTR Secretariat of Environment Canada.

Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge compiled from publicly available sources by D.D. Hurlburt.

Figure 1. Overview map of the Atlantic Maritime ecozone+.


Long Description for Figure 1

This map of the Atlantic Maritime ecozone+ shows the location of cities/towns and bodies of water which are referred to within this report. This ecozone+ is located on the southern Atlantic coastline of Canada and fully encompasses the three Canadian Maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island as well as a portion of southern Quebec. The area of Quebec included in this ecozone+ encompasses the Gaspé Peninsula, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, part of the eastern shore of the St. Lawrence River, and includes the cities of Gaspé, Rimouski, and Sherbrooke but not Québec City. Its southern boundary is defined by the Canada–U.S. border.