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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion covers a narrow strip along the eastern coastline of Nova Scotia where the climate is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and is characterized by cool, wet summers and mild, wet winters. The ecoregion is exposed to high winds, high humidity, and fog during summer and fall; and experiences slow spring warm-up, and has a frost-free period that is the longest in the Maritime provinces. The mean annual temperature is approximately 6.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 14°C and the mean winter temperature is -1.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 1200-1500 mm. The ecoregion supports an open coniferous forest composed of predominantly white and black spruce, and balsam fir. Red maple and yellow birch are found locally on very productive sites. Along exposed headlands, stands are windswept and stunted. Raised and flat bogs, fens, and salt marshes are common wetlands. This undulating to rolling coastal landscape is part of the Atlantic Uplands of Nova Scotia, which extend along the entire length of Nova Scotia. This old peneplain surface is composed predominantly of Palaeozoic metamorphics and granites mantled by a discontinuous cover of stony glacial till. Loamy Humo-Ferric and Ferro-Humic Podzols, frequently with peaty surface horizons, are dominant and alternate with areas of exposed bedrock and wetlands. Ortstein Podzols are commonly found in deep sandy soils. Gleyed Podzols and Gleysols are notable inclusions. The ecoregion provides habitat for shorebirds and seabirds as well as winter habitat for white-tailed deer. The ecoregion is a setting for fishery, some agriculture, and seashore recreation. The major communities include Canso, Lunenburg, Liverpool, Louisbourg, and Yarmouth. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 132 400.

This ecoregion is part of the Atlantic Maritime ecozone.