British Columbia is Canada's most biologically diverse province
As the most ecologically diverse province in Canada, ecosystems in British Columbia range from desert and dry inland ponderosa pine forests in the Interior, to Pacific coastal temperate rainforests.
The diversity of BC’s ecosystems led scientists to create a formal ecological classification system that was adopted by the BC’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to better inform sustainable management of forest resources.
This Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification System uses information about vegetation and animals (“Bio”), soils and landforms (“Geo”) and climate conditions (“Climatic”) to classify any site across the province into one of 14 zones, as well as many more subzones and variants.
This understanding of the interactions between climate, soils and expected vegetation that can be supported help resource managers and scientists understand the potential outcomes associated with natural and human impacts and make better resource management decisions.
Ensuring the ability for our forests to adapt to rapidly changing climate conditions is critical—sequestered and stored carbon in sustainably managed forests and the products they produce have an important role to play in the fight against climate change. In addition to informing the Chief Forester’s Climate Based Seed Transfer guidelines, scientists are unlocking other tools to improve forest resiliency and maximize carbon storage in BC’s forests.
Biogeoclimatic Zones of BC courtesy Centre for Forest Conservation Genetics