Ministry of Forests - Research Branch

Welcome to BECWeb

This is the web portal for the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) and Ecology Research  program of the British Columbia.

This website is the source for information about the BEC system and access point for current and historical reports, maps, software, and other products of the program.


Regional BEC updates can be found on the Current Projects page.

These documents outline recent and anticipated changes to biogeoclimatic mapping and site classifications.

Version 8 of the Biogeoclimatic Subzone/Variant (BGC) Mapping has been released (Feb. 2012). Version 8 includes rescaled and mapped Kalum, Cassiar, and Haida Gwaii districts, plus some localized line work changes to the BGC units near Coldstream and Summerland in the Southern Interior Forest Region.

Some New Reports for 2011/2012

TR068 Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification of Non-forested Ecosystems in British Columbia

This report formalizes new higher level site units for BEC. High level site units are presented for all naturally occuring non-forested ecosystems in British Columbia including alpine, subalpine krummholz and shrubland, grassland, rock outcrop and talus, beach and rocky headland, persistent disclimax ecosystem, and others.

LMH25 2nd edition Field Manual for Describing Terrestrial Ecosystems

This manual has been prepared to assist field surveyors in the completion of the FS882and FS1333 Ecosystem Field Forms, including site, soil, vegetation, mensuration, wildlife habitat assessment, tree attributes for wildlife, and coarse woody debris data forms.

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LMH 65 Field guide to Ecosystems of the Boreal White and Black Spruce (BWBS) zone

This guide represents a revision of existing BWBS forest classifications based on additions of new data and an inter-regional correlation. Now includes some seral and non-forested ecosystems. This guide replaces BWBS classifications presented in LMH 22, LMH 26, LMH 54, and the Draft Field Guide Insert for Seral Populus Units of the Northeast.

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Extension Note 106 New coding schemes for BEC site units.

This extension note outlines a new standard coding system for site series introduced or revised after March 31, 2010. In addition, coding systems for site units representing non-forested ecosystems and for immature (seral) ecosystems are presented.

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Brochure 89 BEC and climate change

Climate change is one of the most important issues facing resource managers planning for the future. Predicted changes in climate may significantly impact the distribution and productivity of plants, animals, and ecosystems. So how will the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC), where vegetation is a central feature in defining ecosystems, remain useful in this changing environment?

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BC JEM Article - Corroboration of BEC climate zonation by spatially modelled climate data

The BEC method for distinguishing areas of homogeneous macroclimate has been used in British Columbia for over 20 years. Because of the paucity of
actual long-term climate data, the method used other means to map climate. We tested how well the BEC
climate units discriminate from one another using new, spatially modelled climate data.

Miscellaneous report 099 - Natural disturbance bibliography for British Columbia.

This bibliography consists of journal articles, reports, conference papers and theses that address natural disturbance regimes in British Columbia. The emphasis is on wildfire but wind, insects and diseases are also included to some extent.
The entries are organized by biogeoclimatic zone and where more than one zone is addressed by an entry it is repeated for each zone.