What Are the Natural Vegetation Zones of Canada?
Canada has seven vegetation zones including tundra, west coast forest, cordilleran vegetation, boreal and taiga forest, grassland, mixed forest and deciduous forest. Vegetation regions are characterized by similar plant life as determined by climate and other factors, such as geology, soil composition and erosion. The boreal forest region is the largest in Canada, followed by the Arctic tundra region.
The boreal forest extends from the edge of the Arctic zone south towards deciduous forests and from the interior of Alaska east to Newfoundland and Labrador. This region consists of coniferous and deciduous trees, such as spruce, aspen, balsam poplar, balsam fir, maple and pine.
The Arctic tundra zone is mostly treeless due to cold temperatures and frozen ground. Short, woody shrubs cover most of this area, along with tundra grasses. Wildlife uses these shrubs for cover to hide from predators and to keep warm.
The cordillera region features diverse vegetation, such as a coastal rain forest, alpine tundra, savannah forest and flat grassland. The cordillera is subdivided into 14 sub regions of various fauna. The grassland zone features mostly perennial herbaceous plants including tall prairie grasses. The amount of vegetation increases eastward from the Rocky Mountains, where there is more precipitation, and southward, where the temperature increases.