Synthesis of Key Findings



Biomes

TopicStatus and TrendsConfidence in Finding
ForestsHealthy, little change Concern, getting worse at a slow to moderate rate Medium
Grasslands Impaired, getting worse at a slow to moderate rate High
Wetlands Concern, getting worse at a slow to moderate rate Medium
Lakes and rivers Concern, getting worse at a slow to moderate rate Medium
CoastalHealthy, getting worse at a slow to moderate rate Impaired, getting worse at a slow to moderate rate Medium
MarineHealthy, improving at a rapid rate Impaired, getting worse at a rapid rate High
Ice across biomes Impaired, getting worse at a rapid rate High



Human/Ecosystem Interactions

TopicStatus and TrendsConfidence in Finding
Protected areasHealthy, improving at a slow to moderate rate Impaired, improving at a slow to moderate rate High
Stewardship Healthy, improving at a slow to moderate rate Medium
Invasive non-native species Impaired, getting worse at a slow to moderate rate Low
Contaminants Concern - Both Medium
Nutrient loading and algal bloomsHealthy, improving at a slow to moderate rate Concern, getting worse at a slow to moderate rate Medium
Acid deposition Concern - Both High
Climate change Concern, getting worse at a rapid rate Medium
Ecosystem services Unknown Low



Habitat, Wildlife, and Ecosystem Processes

TopicStatus and TrendsConfidence in Finding
Agricultural landscapes as habitat Concern, getting worse at a slow to moderate rate Medium
Species of special interest: economic, cultural or ecological Concern, some improvements, some worsening Medium
Primary productivity Unknown Medium
Natural disturbances Concern, rate of change unknown Medium
Food webs Concern, some getting worse at slow to moderate rate; for others, rate of change unknown Medium



Science/Policy Interface

TopicStatus and TrendsConfidence in Finding
Biodiversity monitoring, research, information management, and reporting Concern, some improvements, some worseningnot relevant
Rapid changes and thresholdsnot relevantnot relevant

These tables present the status and trends of the key findings, as well as confidence in the conclusions drawn. The key findings are grouped into four themes and are interrelated.

The first two tables are aspects of the ecosystems themselves – biomes, habitat, wildlife, and ecosystem processes. The last two are human activities – alteration of ecosystems and actions taken to understand and conserve ecosystems.

By necessity, the time frames over which the ratings of status and trends are made 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.

Example icon - concern, improving at a slow to moderate rate Beside each topic is a coloured circle indicating the status associated with the key finding. Within each circle is an arrow that shows both the direction and the rate of change. Beside some topics there are two circle/arrow combinations to represent a range or a dichotomy of status and trends.

Confidence example - medium The height of the stack of papers beside each key finding represents confidence in the finding, based on an evaluation of the adequacy of the supporting evidence. Confidence is lowered when the ecosystem aspect is not well understood or when data are inadequate in spatial or temporal coverage.

In the body of the main report at the beginning of each key finding section, these symbols are repeated along with short phrases summarizing the basis for the ratings.

Red flag Red flags in some key finding sections in the main report are used to highlight aspects of the findings that may be early warning signs of significant ecological change.

LEGEND

Status
 Ecosystem Aspects
(top two tables)
Human Activities
(bottom two tables)
HealthyHealthylikely to persist and likely able to recover from disturbancesactions adequate for conservation or showing good progress, or stressor not causing major impacts
ConcernConcernshowing signs of stressshowing signs of insufficient actions, or signs of major impacts from stressor
ImpairedImpairedoutside of range of natural variation, unstable, or likely not recoveringpoor progress or insufficient actions, or stressors causing major impacts

 

Trend
 Improving at a rapid rateIMPROVING at a rapid rate
 Improving at a slow to moderate rateIMPROVING at a slow to moderate rate
 Little changeLITTLE CHANGE
 Getting worse, slow to moderate rateGETTING WORSE at a slow to moderate rate
 Getting worse at a rapid rateGETTING WORSE at a rapid rate
 UnknownUNKNOWN rate of change

 

Confidence in Finding
 LowLOW: limits in temporal and/or spatial extent of data, or gaps in understanding of the topic, making interpretation difficult
 MediumMEDIUM: data coverage only fair and/or understanding of the topic poor
 HighHIGH: sufficient evidence and adequate understanding of the topic
Section 5