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AN EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT TOOL The Ecological Land Classification Hierarchy is one of the information tools used to plan forest operations and prepare management plans in conformity with the principles of biodiversity conser- vation and sustainable development. The system enables forest managers to apply an integrated resource management approach to their planning activities. It is based on a forest heritage devel- opment perspective that should be adopted by all public and private forest managers and stake- holders. PRINCIPAL PRODUCTS AND DOCUMENTS • Integrated forest inventory maps to a scale • Maps of southern Québec’s land regions of 1:20,000 showing ecological types, and subregions to a scale of 1:1,250,000 surface deposits and drainage • Maps of Québec’s bioclimatic domains and • Surficial deposit maps to a scale of 1:50,000 vegetation zones • Land district maps to a scale of 1:250,000 • Ecological classification reports by and fact sheets bioclimatic domain • Maps of southern Québec’s regional • Field guides for identifying ecological types landscapes to a scale of 1:1,250,000 and by land region fact sheets __________ Note: All these products, except for the map of bioclimatic domains and vegetation zones, cover southern Québec only. MINISTÈRE DES RESSOURCES NATURELLES The Ecological Land Classification Hierarchy and its deriv- DE LA FAUNE ET DES PARCS atives were made possible by the efforts of many people who have worked on this vast project over the years, and Direction des inventaires forestiers continue to do so. They include: Denis Alain, Christian 880, chemin Sainte-Foy, 3e étage Bédard, Jean-Pierre Berger, Jean-François Bergeron*, Jacques Blouin, Hélène D’Avignon, André Faucher, Québec (Québec) G1S 4X4 Caroline Flaschner, Claude Gagné, Jocelyn Gosselin, Telephone : (418) 627-8669 Pierre Grondin*, Yves Landry, Pierre Leboeuf, Gaétan Toll-free : 1 877 9FORÊTS (1 877-936-7387) Lord, Anne Morissette, Jean Noël, Philippe Racine, Denis Fax : (418) 644-9672 Robert*, André Robitaille*, Normand Routhier, Jean- Pierre Saucier*, Lynda Simard, Sylvie Tremblay, Éric www.mrnfp.gouv.qc.ca Vaillancourt. Many other people were also involved in firstname.lastname@example.org data collection and analysis. * Responsible for concept development and methods. CHRISTIANE LECLERC COMMUNICATION Gouvernement du Québec Ministère des Ressources naturelles, de la Faune et des Parcs, 2003 Distribution Code : 2003-3064 THE MRNFP’S FOREST ECOSYSTEM INFORMATION Boreal vegetation zone Continuous boreal forest PROGRAM Balsam fir-white birch Western balsam fir-white birch The purpose of the Ecological Land Classification Hierarchy is to describe the diversity and distribution of Québec’s ecosystems. It is one of the numerous elements that make up the Forest Ecosystem Information Program maintained by the Ministère des Ressources naturelles, de la Faune et des Parcs. The program also includes ecosystem mapping TE RA PE EM activities at different scales, as well as ecological and NT HER BOREAL dendometric surveys and data compilations. ARCTIC Hills around Lac-Saint-Jean NORT VEGETATION ZONE The diagram to the right illustrates the structure and AL Réservoir interconnections of the Ecological Land Classification Pipmuacan BORE RA US Hierarchy. ND VEGETATION INUO TU CONTST ST TAIGA FORE RE SUBZONE FO IN Lac MA Saint-Jean FIR-WHITE BIRCH DO SS BIOCLIMATIC MO t en A HOST OF POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS ur BALSAM in ve La CE- Sa eu t- Fl RU DOMAIN SP FIR-WHITE BIRCH New applications of the Ecological H Lac Onatchiway Hills IRC EB BIOCLIMATIC EASTERN BALSAM LS N HIT Land Classification Hierarchy are FIR AM BA TER -W ES W developed constantly as planners SUBDOMAIN RICE G HILLS SUR AN (5D) ROUNDIN CKS RVOIR use its derivative products and AU A) S (5 T-M (5B) T-JE HILLO RESE IN IN apply its various levels to forest LA UT C) LAC SAIN SA Réservoir HA (5 IP GOUIN Pipmuacan LS ITIB HIL management needs. For example, AB LAND REGION connections have been identified LAC SIMONCOUCHE Lac AY Saint-Jean between vertical tree growth and HIW HILLS (5D-M) NA ) TC C O -T LA (5D biophysical features, especially t en ur LS in ve t-La Sa eu HIL LAND SUBREGION Fl ecological type, within ecological 0) OIR (10 regions. Projects such as this one Lac Connelly (99) ERV have fostered the use of ecologic- CHIWAY (98) AN RES 7) ELLY 6) (9 al information in the preparation (95) (9 LE LAC ONAT TS AC NN IL TE RA NV ET CH C CO PIPMU X D'A OU of silvicultural scenarios and forest CB C AU REGIONAL C LA LA LA LA management plans. The MRNFP LANDSCAPE Réservoir Pipmuacan S (98V013) has also produced a map of areas (98V012) 014) 0) sensitive to rutting after logging 01 8V 6) HILLOCK 011) 9) 8V 01 5) S (9 00 01 8V (9 3) AIGLES HILLS 8V 01 (98V 8V in forest wetlands. The map, CK LS (9 (9 EY 8W (9 HIL LS LLO (9 LL LS IL L'OUEST LLS S VA H H HIL CK X HI HIG H based on regional landscapes, is ER LE HI LO IG BÉ HIL H RIV UL ET A IT Lac LE UC RN KA LAC DES A O ÉTOI Saint-Jean LAC DE AIL LF C PR N BE DO designed to help with the monit- A O RIV M LAND DISTRICT AND C RIB LAC C C LA LA C PÉ LA LA LA oring of work in Québec’s most ALTITUDINAL Lac Étoile Hills sensitive sectors. In recent years, Note: Level not shown VEGETATION LEVEL derivative products from the hier- archy have also been used by other agencies for research into 2) S60) wildlife habitats, landscapes and RE11) MS6 ) ) 9) 38 5S r i b n ka 7) rM S3 E2 RS S3 r rR rR RE21 (or 2 (o rR 0 (o o (or land use planning. 9 (o (o (o MS25 MS21 2 5 S RS21 0 RE24 MS2 M RE25 MS2 S1 S1 38 25 38 25 37 RS2 22 22 22 20 RE3 i v ière Pé M RS M RS RS RS RE RS RE RE RE a P é r i b o nk ECOLOGICAL TYPE 9 Petite R èr e RE 3 i iv AND FOREST TYPE eR t it Pe LAKE RE39: Black spruce-sphagnum on very poorly drained organic soil Note: Forest type not shown THE ECOLOGICAL LAND CLASSIFICATION HIERARCHY André Robitaille, MRNFP BIOCLIMATIC VEGETATION INTEREST DOMAIN ZONE Forests An area characterized • Analysis of the distribution and extent Large continental-scale area by a particular type of of forest fires and natural disturbances The Arctic vegetation zone is characterized characterized by its plant for- vegetation in the final (e.g. spruce budworm infestations) by low-growth bush, grass, moss and mation physiognomy. stage of succession, Land Use Planning lichen formations. reflecting the balance • Location and creation of provincial parks VEGETATION Jean-Pierre Saucier, MRNFP between climate and Wildlife potential vegetation SUBZONE INTEREST • Distribution of bird nesting areas on mesic sites. (e.g. Atlas of Nesting Birds in Southern A portion of a vegetation Forests Québec) zone characterized by the • General climatic research and links with dominant vegetation the major vegetation zones physiognomy at the final • Research into wildlife distribution and stage of succession. large-scale migrations (e.g. caribou) The mixed forests cover the northern por- André Robitaille, MRNFP tion of the northern temperate vegetation zone. Jean-François Bergeron, MRNFP Jean-François Bergeron, MRNFP Black spruce forests are characteristic of the black spruce-moss domain. Some sectors of the boreal vegetation zone are characterized by the presence of large lakes and extensive areas of bare A typical landscape in the rock. eastern sugar maple-yellow birch subdomain. BIOCLIMATIC SUBDOMAIN A portion of a bioclimatic domain exhibiting distinct vegetation patterns reflecting differ- LAND LAND ences in precipitation types and levels. REGION SUBREGION INTEREST An area characterized A portion of a land Forests REGIONAL A landscape charac- by the composition region where the vege- • Illustrates the distribution LANDSCAPE INTEREST of ecological types used terized by extensive and dynamics of the tation growing on mesic for ecoforest photo- An area characterized by black spruce forests Forests typical of the east- vegetation growing on sites is typical of either interpretation a recurrent arrangement • Constitution of ern black spruce- mesic sites, and by the the bioclimatic domain • Identification of rules for of the principal survey units for André Robitaille, MRNFP moss subdomain. distribution of ecologi- to which it belongs, or of the displacement and permanent ecological ecoforest surveys This subdomain is cal types within the more southerly or more origin of forest seeds distinguished from factors and vegetation. • Location of forest wetlands landscape. northerly areas. and plants seedlings likely to be disturbed by its western counter- part by its more Land Use Planning forest operations abundant precipita- • Location and creation of Land Use Planning tion, among other provincial parks things. • Potential for and limitations on André Robitaille, MRNFP Jean-François Bergeron, MRNFP Wildlife land use planning (farming, • Regional location of sites urban development, etc.) suitable for wildlife • Planning of leisure and tourist (moose, white-tailed developments deer, wolf, etc.) Wildlife • Environmental analyses • Research on forest mosaics resulting from interactions between vegetation and FROM FOREST TYPE An ecological region in the northern por- natural disturbances. Pierre Grondin, MRNFP tion of the black spruce-moss domain. In TO VEGETATION some places the forest cover is less dense, and frequent forest fires cause breaches in the canopy. ZONE The Ecological Land Classification Hierarchy A regional landscape com- describes the diversity and distribution of posed of rounded hills in the ecosystems characteristic of Québec as a whole, southern portion of the north- ern temperate vegetation from the hardwood forest landscapes in the Ecological subregion formed by hillocks in zone. extreme south of Québec to the Arctic tundra in the northern temperate vegetation zone. the north. It is composed of eleven levels, illus- trated by maps to different scales, grouped from south to north, with perfectly coordinated Jean-Pierre Saucier, MRNFP boundaries. The Hierarchy’s lower levels (e.g. ecological type) provide information on local forest ecosystem dynamics and give a detailed overview of the forest. They can be used for André Robitaille, MRNFP the preparation of silvicultural scenarios among INTEREST other things. The Hierarchy’s higher levels (e.g. Sugar maple-basswood forest located in the land region, vegetation zone) help situate Forests Québec at the regional and continental level. southern portion of the northern temperate • Forest management ALTIDUDINAL VEGETATION LEVEL vegetation zone. They are useful, for example, in producing sum- • Silvicultural planning An area in which altitude has such a signifi- In the black spruce-moss domain, high altitude mary analyses for forest planning and general FOREST TYPE • Allowable annual cut cant impact on climate that it changes the has a significant impact on vegetation levels, forest management strategies. calculations structure and sometimes the type of vegeta- fostering the presence of ecological types usual- Describes current vegetation • Research on growth and yield tion, causing it to resemble that of more ly found in more northerly bioclimatic domains, based on physiognomy, tree tables by ecological type such as the forest tundra. The Ecological Land Classification Hierarchy northerly regions. takes into account certain ecological variables cover and species groups. Land Use Planning related to the physical environment, climate • Location of exceptional and and vegetation. Some of its levels are climate- rare forest ecosystems LAND DISTRICT specific or vegetation-specific (vegetation • Creation of nature interpretation trails A sector characterized by a unique pattern of zones), while others are based more on the relief, geology, geomorphology and regional physical environment (land districts) or a combi- ECOLOGICAL TYPE Wildlife vegetation. • Location of hunting areas André Robitaille, MRNFP nation of all these elements (regional land- A local sector exhibiting a • Research into wildlife habitats INTEREST scapes). permanent combination of potential vegetation Forests The diagram to the right presents definitions of and physical features. • Planning and management of forest roads the Hierarchy’s eleven levels and describes their • Limitations to forest operations (presence of steep utility for forestry, land use planning and slopes, hydrographic density, etc.) • Location of gravel and sand pits A high altitude land district characterized wildlife purposes. by its hilly relief, fairly high altitude, Land Use Planning recurrent rocky outcrops and thin soil • Regional development plans, municipal urban cover. Lina Breton, MRNFP development plans • Integrated management for drainage basins, especially with regard to the hydrological behaviour of watercourses Black spruce trees are characteristic of the Wildlife black spruce-sphagnum forests typically • Location and distribution of northern plant and found in poor, badly drained areas in the animal species in southern Québec southern sector of the boreal vegetation zone.
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