PROVINCIAL LIST - Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre

biodiversity.sk.ca

PROVINCIAL LIST - Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre

The ecozones have been further subdivided into ecoregions (Figure 2). These

ecoregions are referred to in the discussion of the vegetation of the individual ecozones.

The Prairie Ecozone contains the Aspen Parkland, Moist Mixed Grassland, Mixed

Grassland, and Cypress Upland Ecoregions; the Boreal Plain Ecozone contains the

Midboreal Upland, Midboreal Lowland, and Boreal Transition Ecoregions; the Boreal

Shield Ecozone contains the Athabasca Plain and Churchill River Upland Ecoregions;

the Taiga Shield Ecozone contains the Tazin Lake Upland and Selwyn Lake Upland

Ecoregions.

Figure 2. Ecoregions of Saskatchewan from Padbury and Acton (1994).

Four Ecozones

In the far north of the province lies the rocky terrain of the Taiga Shield (Figure 1) with

its expanses of lichen woodland and peatland vegetation dominated by black spruce.

The continuous canopy of the taiga grades into the first outliers of the more open

subarctic transition forest in the extreme northern and north-eastern reaches of the

ecozone (Rowe 1972). Some vascular elements more typical of the tundra north of the

province begin to creep into the vegetation community and are often accompanied by

ground lichens (Figure 3)

Further south is the bedrock-controlled Boreal Shield with a greater dominance of jack

pine and a more significant admixture of white birch and trembling aspen supported by

the milder climate. Wetlands in the form of Sphagnum peatlands and sedge fens cloth

almost half the land base. The Boreal Plain ecozone begins where the Precambrian

Shield ends and the land becomes mantled with deeper glacial deposits. The warmer

climate and better soils support a more diverse and productive mosaic of pure conifer

forests and extensive mixedwood forests consisting of white spruce, jack pine, or black

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