Research Branch

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Ecosystems of British Columbia

Editor(s): D.V. Meidinger and J. Pojar
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Ecosystems
Series: Special Report Series
Other details:  Published 1991. Hardcopy is available.


This report describes terrestrial ecosystems of British Columbia within the framework of the British Columbia Ministry of Forests' biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification. This system of classification is widely used in British Columbia and gives foresters, biologists, agrologists, other resource managers, and naturalists a common framework for a fundamental knowledge of landscape ecology. It thus provides a basis for ecosystem management and other practical decision-making. Readers interested in specific applications of the classification should consult the appropriate regional field guides and reports published by the B.C. Ministry of Forests. Here we merely introduce the philosophy, principles, and methods of biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification, and give the reader some appreciation of the diversity of terrestrial ecosystems in British Columbia. We also want to reinforce the concept of the ecosystem as the fundamental unit of ecology and management.

Over the past 15 years, an enormous amount of new information about forest ecology in British Columbia has been gathered; ecosystem classification has become institutionalized; and several changes, modifications, and refinements have been made to previous schemes. Although outlined in Pojar (1983), much of the following information is new or updated.

Download Special Report Series 6 (complete document) PDF file (10558 KB)

Front Matter (Cover and Table of Contents) (705 KB)

Chapter 1: Introduction (677 KB)

Chapter 2: Concepts (631 KB)

Chapter 3: British Columbia: The Environmental Setting (2286 KB)

Chapter 4: Resource Values (2174 KB)

Chapter 5: Coastal Douglas-fir Zone (2175 KB)

Chapter 6: Coastal Western Hemlock Zone (2020 KB)

Chapter 7: Mountain Hemlock Zone (1018 KB)

Chapter 8: Bunchgrass Zone (472 KB)

Chapter 9: Ponderosa Pine Zone (258 KB)

Chapter 10: Interior Douglas-fir Zone (676 KB)

Chapter 11: Interior Cedar - Hemlock Zone (1945 KB)

Chapter 12: Montane Spruce Zone (2608 KB)

Chapter 13: Sub-Boreal Pine - Spruce Zone (490 KB)

Chapter 14: Sub-Boreal Spruce Zone (2066 KB)

Chapter 15: Engelmann Spruce - Subalpine Fir Zone (2066 KB)

Chapter 16: Boreal White and Black Spruce Zone (2065 KB)

Chapter 17: Spruce - Willow - Birch Zone (631 KB)

Chapter 18: Alpine Tundra Zone (331 KB)

Chapter 19: Non-tidal Wetlands (27 KB)

Back Matter (Appendices and References) (131 KB)

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Updated April 20, 2007