Environmental Thematic Maps and Graphics: Accounting for ecosystem change, 2021

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Release date: January 25, 2022 Correction date: March 24, 2022

Correction Notice

The coral and sponge area was not correctly displayed on the “Marine and coastal extent, ecosystems and substrate” maps. These 3 maps have been replaced.

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Canada is a vast country with a wide variety of terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems shaped by varying characteristics. The country is bordered by three oceans, which have an important role in both the culture and economy of several provinces and territories. Changing climate patterns have an impact on ecosystem condition and functioning.

This product provides thematic maps associated with Human Activity and the Environment, 2021, covering various aspects of ecosystem accounts, including ecosystem extent and condition. The maps are based on the principles of ecosystem accounting as described in the Canadian System of Environmental Economic Accounting – Ecosystem Accounts and use multiple datasets from a variety of sources. For details of the methodology behind these maps please see Appendix A of Human Activity and the Environment 2021: Accounting for ecosystem change in Canada.

Data are recorded by ecoprovince,Note 1 by drainage regionNote 2 and by marine ecoregion,Note 3 which are labelled on the map (Table 1).

Land extent and landscape condition maps

This group of maps shows the location and extent of different ecosystems and average climate characteristics by ecoprovince, including temperature, precipitation, evapotranspiration and potential evapotranspiration. Also included are maps showing average annual water yield (an estimate of renewable freshwater production), forest fire and forest harvesting areas, maps presenting indicators illustrating cumulative effects of human activity on the terrestrial landscape and freshwater ecosystems, and terrestrial and marine areas of the country that are conserved through protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.

  • Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem extent (map)
  • Average annual temperature, by ecoprovince, 1979 to 2016 (map)
  • Average annual precipitation, by ecoprovince, 1979 to 2016 (map)
  • Average annual evapotranspiration, by ecoprovince, 1979 to 2016 (map)
  • Average annual potential evapotranspiration, by ecoprovince, 1979 to 2016 (map)
  • Average annual water yield per area, by ecoprovince, 1971 to 2014 (map)
  • Forest fire and harvesting (map)
  • Human landscape modification index, 2011 (map)
  • Human landscape modification index, highly modified regions, 2011 (map)
  • Human freshwater landscape influences index, by drainage region (map)
  • Protected and conserved area extent, by ecoprovince and marine ecoregion depth class, 2020 (map)

Marine and coastal maps

The second group of maps relates to marine and coastal ecosystems within Canada’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The first five maps show depth classes and elevation features, selected ecosystems, substrates and anthropogenic modifications in Canada’s marine ecoregions. Also included is a map of Canada’s fishing sector-based communities. The final series of maps show sea surface temperature and salinity changes within Canada’s EEZ, by depth class in each ecoregion and at a quarter degree grid.

Ecosystem change maps

The third group of maps highlights some of the changes that ecosystems have experienced over time. The first seven maps represent the long-term trend of temperature departures (1948 to 2016) from the 1961 to 1990 climate normal. Also included are six maps showing annual and seasonal precipitation change over the period from 1979 to 2016. The final map shows the annual total water storage change, which is an estimate of water stored in the environment as groundwater, soil moisture, surface water, snow and ice.

  • Temperature change, by ecoprovince, 1948 to 2016
    • Annual and all seasons (map)
    • Annual (map)
    • Spring (map)
    • Summer (map)
    • Fall (map)
    • Winter (map)
  • Winter temperature increase greater than 5°C, northwestern Canada, 1948 to 2016 (map)
  • Precipitation change, by ecoprovince, 1979 to 2016
    • Annual and all seasons (map)
    • Annual (map)
    • Spring (map)
    • Summer (map)
    • Fall (map)
    • Winter (map)
  • Annual total water storage change, by ecoprovince, 2002 to 2016 (map)

Table 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Geography . The information is grouped by Ecoprovince (appearing as row headers), Code and Ecoprovince (appearing as column headers).
Ecoprovince Code Ecoprovince Code
Northern Arctic Cordillera 1.1   Northern Coastal Mountains 13.3
Southern Arctic Cordillera 1.2   Northern Montane Cordillera 14.1
Sverdrup Islands 2.1   Central Montane Cordillera 14.2
Ellesmere Basin 2.2   Southern Montane Cordillera 14.3
Victoria Lowlands 2.3   Columbia Montane Cordillera 14.4
Parry Channel Plateau 2.4   Hudson Bay Coastal Plains 15.1
Boothia–Foxe Shield 2.5   Hudson–James Lowlands 15.2
Baffin Uplands 2.6 Marine ecoregion Code
Foxe–Boothia Lowlands 2.7   Strait of Georgia 1
Amundsen Lowlands 3.1   Southern Shelf 2
Keewatin Lowlands 3.2   Offshore Pacific 3
Ungava–Belcher 3.3   Northern Shelf 4
Mackenzie Foothills 4.1   Arctic Basin 5
Great Bear Lowlands 4.2   Western Arctic 6
Hay–Slave Lowlands 4.3   Arctic Archipelago 7
Western Taiga Shield 5.1   Eastern Arctic 8
Eastern Taiga 5.2   Hudson Bay Complex 9
Labrador Uplands 5.3   Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves 10
Whale River Lowland 5.4   Scotian Shelf 11
Western Boreal Shield 6.1   Gulf of St. Lawrence 12
Mid-Boreal Shield 6.2 Drainage region Code
Eastern Boreal Shield 6.3   Pacific Coastal 1
Newfoundland 6.4   Fraser–Lower Mainland 2
Lake of the Woods 6.5   Okanagan–Similkameen 3
Southern Boreal Shield 6.6   Columbia 4
Appalachian–Acadian Highlands 7.1   Yukon 5
Northumberland Lowlands 7.2   Peace–Athabasca 6
Fundy Uplands 7.3   Lower Mackenzie 7
Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Lowlands 8.1   Arctic Coast–Islands 8
Huron–Erie Plains 8.2   Missouri 9
Boreal Foothills 9.1   North Saskatchewan 10
Central Boreal Plains 9.2   South Saskatchewan 11
Eastern Boreal Plains 9.3   Assiniboine–Red 12
Eastern Prairies 10.1   Winnipeg 13
Parkland Prairies 10.2   Lower Saskatchewan–Nelson 14
Central Grassland 10.3   Churchill 15
Northern Yukon Mountains 11.1   Keewatin–Southern Baffin Island 16
Old Crow–Eagle Plains 11.2   Northern Ontario 17
Ogilvie Mountains 11.3   Northern Quebec 18
Mackenzie–Selwyn Mountains 11.4   Great Lakes 19
Wrangel Mountains 12.1   Ottawa 20
Northern Boreal Cordillera 12.2   St. Lawrence 21
Southern Boreal Cordillera 12.3   North Shore–Gaspé 22
Western Boreal Cordillera 12.4   Saint John–St. Croix 23
Georgia Depression 13.1   Maritime Coastal 24
Southern Coastal Mountains 13.2   Newfoundland–Labrador 25

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