Canadian Forest Service Publications

Perspectives on Developing a Canadian Classification of Ecological Communities. 2001. Ponomarenko, S.; Alvo, R. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Headquarters, Science Branch, Ottawa. Information Report ST-X-18E. 52 p.

Year: 2001

Issued by: National Capital Region

Catalog ID: 18073

Language: English

Series: Information Report (CFS - Ottawa)

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


During the last few decades, biodiversity conservation and biodiversity management have become increasingly important at subnational, national, and international levels throughout the world. This has created the need to develop national and international ecological community classifications. In addition, the collaboration of countries and international organizations on a global classification appears imminent.

Canada does not have a standard national ecological community classification that includes all types of biotic communities (terrestrial, subterranean, freshwater, and marine). Such a classification would allow Canada to be well represented in the development of a global conventional classification.

In this report, the authors give an overview of classification science, discuss the terminology of this science, and present different classification approaches used worldwide and in Canada. They conclude with a section on the development of a standard national ecological community classification for Canada. They propose that the first step is to develop a Canadian National Vegetation Classification C-NVC and believe taht the Association for Biodiversity Information’s International Classification of Ecological Communities (ICEC) should serve as a standard. The ICEC is already broadly used in Canada, and development of the C-NVC following the same standards would help create a common classification at the continental scale.

Also available under the title:
Perspectives pour l’élaboration d’une classification des communautés écologiques du Canada (French)