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Ecological Land Classification (ELC) for Ontario
Project 140-301

 

Description: Ecological Land Classification (ELC) systems are used to classify and describe ecosystems, by delineating areas of similar ecology at different scales, often within a nested or hierarchical framework. Ecosystems can be defined and characterized on the basis of common features such as bedrock geology, climate, patterns of relief, and vegetation, which set them apart from other units.

The ELC hierarchy and associated products are multi-scale and extend from a broad provincial level down to very fine-scale vegetation and substrate levels. The different levels in the provincial ELC hierarchy allow for consistent, interpretable ecosystem boundaries for natural resource management decisions including planning, inventory, and monitoring. ELC is applicable to many Ontario Ministry of Natural Resource policies and programs including Old Growth Policy, Forest Resource Inventory, Species at Risk, and Wildlife Habitat Guides, and help support national and international reporting.

Since the mid 1990’s, work on revising the ELC for Ontario has occurred. In 2000, revisions on the ecozone, ecoregion, and ecodistrict boundaries were completed (with minor cartographic revision in 2002), followed by the publication of a report describing each ecozone and ecoregion in Ontario – The Ecosystems of Ontario, Part 1: Ecozones and Ecoregions. By 2006 considerable work had been completed on the development of a set of provincial ecosites and substrate types which culminated in the Ecological Land Classification Field Manual - Operational Draft (2009). Current work is focused on a report detailing the ecodistricts of Ontario, development of a set of provincial vegetation types, and training users on the provincial system.

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                                                            Participants of an ELC training course in Sault Ste Marie, July 4-8, 2016.

 


 

 

                                                                      
 



 

Introduction to ELC in Central and Southern Ontario

Papers:

Pokharel, B, J.P. Dech, and P. Uhlig. A tool for converting forest ecosystem classifications for permanent or temporary growth plots into the new provincial Ecological Land Classification (ELC) system in the boreal regions of Ontario. The Forestry Chronicle, 2012, 88(1): 49-59

 Fact Sheets:

A guide to translate central Ontario ecosites into “Ecosites of Ontario”

Central Ontario ecosite to provincial ecosite conversion chart

A guide to translate northeastern Ontario ecosites into “Ecosites of Ontario”

Northeastern ecosite to provincial ecosite converstion chart

A guide to translate northwestern Ontario ecosites into “Ecosites of Ontario”

Northwestern ecosite to provincial ecosite conversion chart

   

Reports:

The Ecosystems of Ontario, Part 1: Ecozones and Ecoregions

Ecological Land Classification Field Manual - Operational Draft (2009) – Great Lakes-St. Lawrence 

Ecological Land Classification Field Manual – Operational Draft (2009) – Boreal

Field Guide to the Substrates of Ontario

Swamp Indicators

Past Regional Classifiaction Products: 

1983 Claybelt FEC

1996 Ecosites of NW Ontario

1996 Wetland ecosystem classification for NW Ontario

1997 forest ecosystem classification for NW Ontario

1997 Forest ecosystem classification for Central Ontario

1998 Ecological Land Classification for Southern Ontario

2000 Forest Ecosystems of Northeastern Ontario

 

Update/New Release - ELC Boreal Treed Vegetation Types (Premlinary Draft)

 Draft v2.0 - Boreal Treed Vegetation Types 2015

These are Preliminary Draft factsheets summarizing vegetation communities for terrestrial and wetland treed conditions which include all revised Treed Vegetation types for the Boreal portion of Ontario. This new set of vegetation types is a first result of a full reanalysis of the entire provincial plot data network. Analysis, development and correlation were done in collaboration with Manitoba and Quebec as part of the Canadian National Vegetation Classification. These new units represent the vegetation type concepts that will represent and replace the vegetation types found in older Forest Ecosystem Classifications from Northwestern, Northeastern and portions of Central Ontario. This draft is a preliminary summary of the findings and emerging vegetation types. They will be undergoing review and further development with the addition of expanded text and graphics. The work is ongoing to finalize temperate and southern treed systems and a full revision is anticipated for the Central Ontario FEC and Southern ELC in the coming year.

If you have any comments, or for more information, contact:

Peter Uhlig ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Monique Wester ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

 
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Description: Ecological Land Classification (ELC) systems are used to classify and describe ecosystems, by delineating areas of similar ecology at different scales, often within a nested or hierarchical framework. Ecosystems can be defined and characterized on the basis of common features such as bedrock geology, climate, patterns of relief, and vegetation, which set them apart from other units.

 

The ELC hierarchy and associated products are multi-scale and extend from a broad provincial level down to very fine-scale vegetation and substrate levels. The different levels in the provincial ELC hierarchy allow for consistent, interpretable ecosystem boundaries for natural resource management decisions including planning, inventory, and monitoring. ELC is applicable to many Ontario Ministry of Natural Resource policies and programs including Old Growth Policy, Forest Resource Inventory, Species at Risk, and Wildlife Habitat Guides, and help support national and international reporting.

 

Since the mid 1990’s, work on revising the ELC for Ontario has occurred. In 2000, revisions on the ecozone, ecoregion, and ecodistrict boundaries were completed (with minor cartographic revision in 2002), followed by the publication of a report describing each ecozone and ecoregion in Ontario – The Ecosystems of Ontario, Part 1: Ecozones and Ecoregions. By 2006 considerable work had been completed on the development of a set of provincial ecosites and substrate types which culminated in the Ecological Land Classification Field Manual - Operational Draft (2009). Current work is focused on a report detailing the ecodistricts of Ontario, development of a set of provincial vegetation types, and training users on the provincial system.

 

Project Team: Erin Banton, Rachelle Lalonde, Harold Lee, John Johnson, Sean McMurray. Gerry Racey, Peter Uhlig, Monique Wester

 

 

Papers:

Pokharel, B, J.P. Dech, and P. Uhlig. A tool for converting forest ecosystem classifications for permanent or temporary growth plots into the new provincial Ecological Land Classification (ELC) system in the boreal regions of Ontario. The Forestry Chronicle, 2012, 88(1): 49-59.

 

 

Fact Sheets:

A guide to translate central Ontario ecosites into “Ecosites of Ontario”

Central Ontario ecosite to provincial ecosite conversion chart

A guide to translate northeastern Ontario ecosites into “Ecosites of Ontario”

Northeastern ecosite to provincial ecosite converstion chart

A guide to translate northwestern Ontario ecosites into “Ecosites of Ontario”

Northwestern ecosite to provincial ecosite conversion chart

 

Reports:

The Ecosystems of Ontario, Part 1: Ecozones and Ecoregions

Ecological Land Classification Field Manual - Operational Draft (2009) – Great Lakes-St. Lawrence

Ecological Land Classification Field Manual – Operational Draft (2009) – Boreal