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Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010

Evidence for Key Findings Summary Report No. 7 Published by the Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers


Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ evidence for key findings summary.

Issued also in French under title:
Sommaire des éléments probants relativement aux constatations clés pour l’écozone+ des plaines à forêts mixtes.
Electronic monograph in PDF format.

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Cover photo: Maple-oak forest, Skunk’s Misery, © Allen Woodliffe, OMNR. Photo may not be reproduced without the permission of the rights holder.

This report should be cited as:
ESTR Secretariat. 2016.  Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ evidence for key finding summary. Canadian biodiversity: ecosystem status and trends 2010, Evidence for Key Findings Summary Report No. 7. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. x + 145 p.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2016
Aussi disponible en français


The Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers developed a Biodiversity Outcomes FrameworkReference 1 in 2006 to focus conservation and restoration actions under the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy.Reference 2 Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010Reference 3 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).

Images of 2010 Ecosystem Status and Trends Report (ESTR)

This report, Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ Evidence for Key Findings Summary, presents evidence from the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+related to the 22 national key findings and highlights important trends specific to this ecozone+. It is based on the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ Status and Trends Assessment--with an emphasis on Ontario,Reference 4 as well as further synthesis done to specifically address the national key findings. Additional information was provided by the Quebec Region of Environment Canada. The report 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. 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. Many experts from a broad range of disciplines, including university researchers, government scientists, and renewable resource and wildlife  managers, contributed to the technical report as authors and reviewers (see Acknowledgements section). This key finding summary report was also reviewed by federal and territorial government scientists and managers and, in part or as a whole, by several university researchers.

Ecological classification system – ecozones+

A slightly modified version of the Terrestrial Ecozones of Canada, described in the National Ecological Framework for Canada,Reference 5 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.Reference 6 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+ (Atlantic Maritime; Newfoundland Boreal; Taiga Shield; Mixedwood Plains; Boreal Shield; Hudson Plains; Prairies; Boreal Plains; Montane Cordillera; Western Interior Basin; Pacific Maritime; Boreal Cordillera; Taiga Cordillera; Taiga Plains; Arctic), two large lake ecozones+ (Great Lakes; Lake Winnipeg), and nine marine ecozones+ (North Coast and Hecate Strait; West Coast Vancouver Island; Strait of Georgia; Gulf of Maine and Scotian Shelf; Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence; Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves; Hudson Bay, James Bay and Fox Basin; Canadian Arctic Archipelago; Beaufort Sea).


Content for this report for the Ontario portion of the ecozone+ is drawn heavily from Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ Status and Trends Assessment--with an emphasis on Ontario.Reference 4 Specialists from the Ministère des Ressources naturelles  et Faune du Québec as well as Environment Canada and Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada contributed to several key findings as both authors and reviewers extending the coverage beyond Ontario for those key findings. Reviews of versions of this summary report were provided by scientists and resource managers from relevant provincial and federal government agencies.

Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ Evidence for Key Findings Summary acknowledgements

Forests:  K. Taylor and L. Duchesne
Grasslands: K. Taylor and W. Bakowsky
Wetlands: K. Taylor
Change in extent of wetlands along the St. Lawrence River: T. Hayes
Lakes and rivers: W. Dunlop
Coastal: K. Taylor and W. Bakowsky
Ice across biomes: K. Taylor and J. Casselman
Protected areas: J. Thompson
Stewardship: A. Handyside
Ecosystem conversion: K. Taylor and B. Pond
Invasive non-native species: K. Taylor
Contaminants: S. Bhavsar
Nutrient loading and algal blooms:  S. Bhavsar
Acid Deposition: K. Taylor
Climate change: K. Taylor
Ecosystem services: A. Handyside
Intact landscapes and waterscapes: K. Taylor
Agricultural landscapes as habitat: S. Javorek, M. Grant and K. Taylor
Species of special economic, cultural or ecological interest: K. Taylor
Primary productivity: K. Taylor
Natural disturbance: K. Taylor and L. Duchesne
Food webs and population cycles: K. Taylor
Biodiversity monitoring, research, information management, and reporting: K. Taylor
Rapid change and thresholds: K. Taylor
Human well-being and biodiversity: K. Taylor

Authors of Thematic Technical Reports from which material is drawn:

  • Canadian climate trends, 1950-2007: X. Zhang, R. Brown, L. Vincent, W. Skinner, Y. Feng, E.Mekis
  • Large-scale climate oscillations influencing Canada, 1900-2008: B. Bonsal and A. Shabbar
  • Monitoring biodiversity remotely: a selection of trends measured from satellite observations of Canada: F. Ahern, J. Frisk, R. Latifovic and D. Pouliot
  • Biodiversity in Canadian lakes and rivers: W.A. Monk and D.J. Baird
  • Wildlife pathogens and diseases in Canada: F.A. Leighton
  • Trends in wildlife habitat capacity on agricultural land in Canada, 1986-2006: S.K. Javorek, M.C.Grant
  • Trends in Canadian shorebirds: C. Gratto-Trevor, R.I.G. Morrison, B. Collins, J. Rausch, V.Johnston
  • Landbird trends in Canada, 1968-2006: C. Downes, P. Blancher and B. Collins
  • Trends in breeding waterfowl in Canada: M. Fast, B. Collins and M. Gendron

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 productionby the ESTR Secretariat of Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Key Finding Summary Reviewers:
H. Anderson, W. Bakowski, T. Bellhouse, Y. Boucher, J. Brimsmead, S. Brinker, J. Casselman, S. Columbo, A. Corlett, B. Dalton,  A. Dextrase, C. Downes, J. Dungavell, K. Elliot, K. Ferguson, R. Gagnon, J. Gleeson, B. Graham, P. Grondin, A. Handyside, T. Haxton, C.-L. Hazard, T. Hayes, B. Jobin, J. Jutras, E. Kennedy, J. Lebreque,  P. Lafleur, T. Leighton, D. LeMoire, P. Lilley, M. McMurtry, K. Milian, E. Miller, A. Norman, B. Naylor, G. Nielson, M. Oldham, D. Pare, R. Pineo,  B. Pond, B. Potter,  G. Pulham, D. Puric-Mladenovic, D. Rodrique, B. Rose, P. Smith, L. Stanfield, S. Strobl, D. Sutherland, S. Thompson, M. Twiss, S. Voros, S. Watmough, W. Wistowsky, E. Wright

Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ Status and Trends Assessment--with an emphasis on Ontario acknowledgements

Lead authors:  D. Krahn and K. Taylor

Contributing authors:  A. Todd – Ontario Ministry of Environment (OMOE), A. Crook – Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) , A. Woodliffe (OMNR), A. MacIntosh (OMNR), A. Shabbar – Environment Canada, A. Handyside (OMNR), A. Dyk – Canadian Forest Service, A. Ecclestone (OMNR), A. Evers – University of Guelph, A. Tanentzap – Cambridge University, UK, A. Wallace – Toronto Region Conservation Authority, A. Norman (OMNR), B. Boysen (OMNR), B. Bonsal – Environment Canada, B. Brownson (OMNR), B. Dalton, (OMNR), B. Kowalyk (OMNR), B. Collins – Canadian Wildlife Service, B. Pond (OMNR), C. Nielsen – Environment Canada, C. Heydon (OMNR), C. Jones (OMOE), D. Tailon (OMNR), D. DuMoulin (OMNR), D. Puric-Mladenovic  (OMNR), D. Bazely  – York University, D. Burke (OMNR), D. Featherstone – Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, D. Tammadge – Canadian Forest Service, D. Leckie – Canadian Forest Service, D. Krahn (OMNR), D. Campbell – Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre, E. Wright (OMNR), F.A. Leighton – Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre, F. McKay (OMNR), G. McLaren (OMNR), G. Nielsen (OMNR), G. Kaltenecker (OMOE), I. Ockenden – Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, J. Hughes – Canadian Wildlife Service, J. McHattie (OMNR), J. Bowman (OMNR), J. Rzadki – Conservation Ontario, J. Lumsden – Canadian cooperative Wildlife Health Centre, J. Thompson (OMNR), J. Switzman (OMNR), K. Falk – Trent University, K. Milian (OMNR), K. Elliot (OMNR), K. Reese (OMNR), K. Taylor (OMNR), K. Ferguson – Nature Conservancy of Canada, L. Stanfield (OMNR), L. Duchesne (MRNF) M. Heaton (OMNR), M. Nicol – Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, M. Furrer (OMNR), M. Garvin (OMNR), M. Bevan (OMNR), M. Gatt (OMNR), M. Irvine (OMNR), M. McMurtry (OMNR), N. Hooseinny (OMNR), O. Williams (OMNR), P. Gray (OMNR), P. Smith – Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, P. Waring (OMNR), P. Kor (OMNR), Q. Chiotti – Pollution Probe, R. Gagnon – Ontario Invasive Plant Council, R. Dixon (OMNR), R. Zeran (OMNR), R. Wilson (OMNR), R. Spence (OMNR), R. Pineo – Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, S. Bhavsar (OMOE), S. Jarvie – Toronto Region Conservation Authority, S. Poser (OMNR), S. Strobl (OMNR), S. Hounsell – Ontario Power Generation, S. Voros (OMNR), T. Dunkley (OMNR), T. Scarr (OMNR), T. McIntosh (OMNR), T. Schwan (OMNR), T. Hutchinson – Trent University, W. I.Dunlop (OMNR), W. Bakowsky (OMNR), W. Wistowsky (OMNR).

Figure 1. Overview map of the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+.
Long description for Figure 1

This map provides an overview of the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+, which is located in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec south of the Precambrian Shield. It is bordered along the south and west by Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, the state of Michigan, and Lake Huron and along the southeast by the states of New York and Vermont and the province of Quebec. Majors cities located within the ecozone+, from west to east, are Windsor, Port Franks, London, Brantford, Hamilton, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Montreal and the city of Quebec. Major lakes and rivers in the ecozone+ are, from west to east, the Thames River, Lake Simcoe, Kawartha Lakes, the Ottawa River, the St. Lawrence River, the Richelieu River and Lac Saint-Pierre. Manitoulin Island, in Lake Huron, is also located within the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+

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Reference 1

Environment Canada. 2006. Biodiversity outcomes framework for Canada. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. 8 p.

Return to reference 1 referrer

Reference 2

Federal-Provincial-Territorial Biodiversity Working Group. 1995. Canadian biodiversity strategy: Canada's response to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Environment Canada, Biodiversity Convention Office. Hull, QC. 86 p.

Return to reference 2 referrer

Reference 3

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments of Canada. 2010. Canadian biodiversity: ecosystem status and trends 2010. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. vi + 142 p.

Return to reference 3 referrer

Reference 4

Taylor, K. , Dunlop, W.I. , Handyside, A. , MacCorkindale, D. , Pond, B. , Thompson, J. , McMurtry, M. and Krahn, D. 2012. Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ status and trends assessment--with an emphasis on Ontario. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Ecozone+ Status and Trends Report. Canadian Councils of Resources Ministers. Ottawa, ON. xx p. Draft report.

Return to reference 4 referrer

Reference 5

Ecological Stratification Working Group. 1995. A national ecological framework for Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Branch, Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research and Environment Canada, State of the Environment Directorate, Ecozone Analysis Branch. Ottawa, ON/Hull, QC. vii + 125 p.

Return to reference 5 referrer

Reference 6

Rankin, R. , Austin, M. and Rice, J. 2011. Ecological classification system for the ecosystem status and trends report. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 1. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. ii + 14 p.

Return to reference 6 referrer

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