Forest graphic descriptors

Percent of forest area by ecozones+

Graphic thumbnail: Percent of forest area by ecozones+

This map of Canada shows the percentage of total area with tree coverage. Ecozone+ boundaries are marked on the map, forested areas are shown using colour coding, and the percentage of each ecozone+ with tree cover is displayed. These percentages are as follows: Newfoundland Boreal, 64%; Atlantic Maritime, 76%; Taiga Shield, 34%; Boreal Shield, 66%; Mixedwood Plains, 20%; Hudson Plains, 53%; Boreal Plains, 59%; Prairie, 6%; Taiga Plains, 53%; Taiga Cordillera, 32%; Boreal Cordillera, 40%; Montane Cordillera, 62%; Western Interior Basin, 63%; and Pacific Maritime, 49%. The Arctic Ecozone+ is north of treeline, so has no significant forest cover. Land classified as “forest fire disturbance” is also shown in colour on the map. It is in patches distributed in the boreal and taiga ecozones+, and is especially noticeable in the Taiga Shield. An inset map shows the location of the boreal forest zone

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Graphic thumbnail: Deforestation

This bar chart shows area of deforestation from 1990 to 2007. The area deforested annually declined from approximately 700 square kilometres in 1990 to approximately 500 square kilometres in 1994. After 1994, annual deforestation remained stable at this level, with the exceptions of 1995 and 2006 when annual deforestation was 800 square kilometres and 750 square kilometres respectively.

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Vegetation changes in the treeline zone of western Canada

Graphic thumbnail: Graphic Thumbnail: Deforestation

This bar chart shows the percent change in the amounts of different classes of vegetation in the treeline zone west of Hudson Bay from 1985 to 2006. Over this period, bare land decreased by 9.4%, lichen cover decreased by 3.9%, conifer cover increased by 0.45%, herb cover increased by 12%, and shrub cover increased by 15%. An inset map shows the location of the treeline zone analyzed in this study. It is a broad band along the southern boundary of the Arctic Ecozone+ from west of Hudson Bay to the Yukon-Alaska border.

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Intactness of Canada’s landscapes

Graphic thumbnail: Intactness of Canada’s landscapes

This map of Canada has ecozone+ boundaries marked on it and uses colour coding to divide the land area into two classes: first, intact landscapes free of human disturbance, defined as intact blocks greater than 50 square kilometres for the boreal forest and greater than 10 square kilometres for the temperate forest; and, second, landscapes that are fragmented by human disturbance. Fragmented landscapes dominate the southern part of Canada, extending further north in some places, especially in the Boreal Plains and Montane Cordillera ecozones+. A region of intact landscape is apparent along the Rocky Mountains. The Arctic Ecozone+ was excluded from this analysis.

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Intactness of old forest habitat in Alberta-Pacific Forest Management Area

Graphic thumbnail: Intactness of old forest habitat in Alberta-Pacific Forest Management Area

This graph shows the percent of intact old-forest habitat in the Alberta-Pacific Forest Management Area. The total area of intact old-forest habitat is 92%. This analysis is also broken down by forest type as follows: 93% of white spruce and fir, 95% of pine, 91% of deciduous, and 93% of mixedwood old forest habitats are classified as intact.

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Extent of old forests

Graphic thumbnail: Extent of old forests

This graphic shows the percent of old forest for locations throughout Canada over a range of time periods. A separate bar chart is shown for each of five locations. These locations are shown on a map of Canada. Overall, the charts show a shift to younger forests, except in the Quebec portion of the Mixedwood Plains.

Each graph is described in the following set of points:

  1. Alberta’s boreal forests. The percent of forests greater than 120 years old declined from 29% in 1991 to 18% in 1999.
  2. Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+. In 2009 the percent of young forest was 59% and the percent of forest older than 81 years was 41%.
  3. Nova Scotia. The percent of forests greater than 100 years old decreased from 8.7% in 1958 to 0.3% in the period 1997 to 2003. The percent of forests between 81 and 100 years old decreased from 16% to 1.2% over the same timeframe.
  4. Quebec portion of the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+. Forest age structure over three time periods (1969 to 1975; 1981 to 1988; and 1990 to 1995) is compared. The percent of regenerating forest (less than 2 metres tall) and young forest (taller than 7 metres with increasing growth) remained relatively constant at approximately 10% and 45% respectively, while the percent of regenerated forest (2 to 7 metres tall) declined from approximately 25% to 10%. The proportion of mature and senescent forest (taller than 7 metres with stable or decreasing growth) increased over the period from approximately 18% to 32%.
  5. Coastal B.C. The percent of forest older than 140 years decreased from approximately 62% before European contact to 41% in the mid 1990s.

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