Research Branch

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Wetlands of British Columbia: A Guide to Identification

Author(s) or contact(s): W.H. MacKenzie and J.R. Moran
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Riparian Management
Series: Land Management Handbook
Other details:  Published 2004. Hardcopy is available.


This guide presents a site classification and interpretative information for wetlands and related ecosystems of British Columbia. Site identification is based upon principles of Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) modified for wetland ecosystems.

The objectives of the classification are:
- to provide a framework for organizing ecological information and management experience about ecosystems;
- to promote a better understanding of wetlands and related ecosystems;
- to provide users with a common language to describe wetland ecosystems; and
- to provide an ecological basis for management of wetlands.

The Research Branch of British Columbia's Ministry of Forests initiated a program in 1994 to classify and describe the wetlands and riparian areas of British Columbia. Its central intent was to generate basic ecological information about these important ecosystems. This guide represents one aspect of the Wetland and Riparian Ecosystem Classification (WREC) initiative and has two principal goals:
- to assist users in describing and identifying wetland ecosystems; and
- to provide management interpretations to assist in conservation of wetlands ecosystems.

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Updated April 26, 2007