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Technical Thematic Report No. 3. - Guidance for the preparation of ESTR products – Land classification scheme for the ecosystem status and trends report

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Guidance for the preparation of ESTR products -- land classification scheme

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J. FriskFootnote[1]

Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010
Technical Thematic Report No. 3
Published by the Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Guidance for the preparation of ESTR products – land classification scheme.

Issued also in French under title:
Schéma de classification des terres pour le Rapport sur l’état et les tendances des écosystèmes.
Electronic monograph in PDF format.
ISBN 978-1-100-20257-0
Cat. no.: En14-43/3-2012E-PDF

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This report should be cited as:
Frisk, J. 2011. Guidance for the preparation of ESTR products – land classification scheme. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 3. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. iv + 34 p.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2012
Aussi disponible en français

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Ecosystems and Biodiversity Priorities, Environment Canada

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Preface

The Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers developed a Biodiversity Outcomes FrameworkFootnote1 in 2006 to focus conservation and restoration actions under the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy.Footnote2 Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010Footnote3 was a first report under this framework. It assesses progress towards the framework’s goal of “Healthy and Diverse Ecosystems” and the two desired conservation outcomes: i) productive, resilient, diverse ecosystems with the capacity to recover and adapt; and ii) damaged ecosystems restored.

The 22 recurring key findings that are presented in Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010 emerged from synthesis and analysis of technical reports prepared as part of this project. Over 500 experts participated in the writing and review of these foundation documents. This report, Guidance for the preparation of ESTR products – Land classification scheme, is one of three background papers prepared to assist the Ecosystem Status and Trends Report (ESTR) Steering Committee in developing a framework and providing guidance for the project. This report was prepared in 2008 and the information presented in it has not been updated except to put into context with the final ESTR reports.

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Ecological Classification System – Ecozones+

A slightly modified version of the Terrestrial Ecozones of Canada, described in the National Ecological Framework for CanadaFootnote4, provided the ecosystem-based units for all reports related to this project. Modifications from the original framework include: adjustments to terrestrial boundaries to reflect improvements from ground-truthing exercises; the combination of three Arctic ecozones into one; the use of two ecoprovinces – Western Interior Basin and Newfoundland Boreal; the addition of nine marine ecosystem-based units; and, the addition of the Great Lakes as a unit. This modified classification system is referred to as “ecozones+ throughout these reports to avoid confusion with the more familiar “ecozones” of the original frameworkFootnote5.

Ecological classification framework for the Ecosystem Status and Trends Report for Canada.

Long Description for Ecozones+ map of Canada

This map of Canada shows the ecological classification framework for the Ecosystem Status and Trends Report, named “ecozones+”. This map shows the distribution of 15 terrestrial ecozones+, two large lake ecozones+, and nine marine ecozones+.

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Introduction

During the preparation of the Ecosystem Status and Trends (ESTR) Technical Ecozone+ Reports it became clear that some guidance was required for terminology to be used when discussing land cover in order to ensure consistency and comparability across reports. This paper provides that guidance by presenting a land cover classification scheme for ESTR which considers both land cover classifications used in national data analyzed specifically for ESTR and other common relevant land cover classifications. Because it is not always possible to change how data is presented and because data is not always available for all classifications, use of the scheme recommended in this paper is not absolute in ESTR technical reports.

The terms ‘classification scheme’, ‘classification standard’, and ‘classification system’ are often used interchangeably, and in this paper ‘classification scheme’ will be used.

The purpose of this paper is to:

  1. provide a clearly defined set of land cover terminology as guidance for preparing ESTR technical reports; and
  2. describe the terminology used when discussing land cover in seven analyses using land cover data that were carried out for ESTR, and to show how they correspond with the land classification proposed for ESTR in this paper.

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Footnotes

Footnote 1

Environment Canada. 2006. Biodiversity outcomes framework for Canada. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. 8 p.

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Footnote 2

Federal-Provincial-Territorial Biodiversity Working Group. 1995. Canadian Biodiversity Strategy: Canada's response to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Environment Canada, Biodiversity Convention Office. Ottawa, ON. 86 p.

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Footnote 3

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments of Canada. 2010. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. vi + 142 p.

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Footnote 4

Ecological Stratification Working Group. 1995. A national ecological framework for Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Branch, Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research and Environment Canada, State of the Environment Directorate, Ecozone Analysis Branch. Ottawa/Hull, ON. 125 p. Report and national map at 1:7 500 000 scale.

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Footnote 5

Rankin, R., Austin, M. and Rice, J. 2011. Ecological classification system for the ecosystem status and trends report. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 1. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON.

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Introduction