Home | Ecozones | Atlantic Maritime
Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada

ANNAPOLIS-MINAS LOWLANDS

This ecoregion incorporates the Annapolis Valley and most of the Minas Lowlands southeast of Minas Basin. The ecoregion is sheltered from direct coastal influences, allowing for warmer summer temperatures, particularly within the Annapolis Valley. The mean annual temperature is approximately 6.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 15°C and the mean winter temperature is -2.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 1100-1300 mm. The tall, closed mixedwood forest is predominantly composed of red, white, and black spruce, balsam fir, eastern hemlock, and eastern white pine, intermixed with white birch and red maple. Sugar maple, yellow birch, and beech are found on hills and ridges. Moist valley bottoms support white and red pine, and red maple. Spruce, fir, and hemlock are more prevalent on heavier soils to the east. Swampy basins support white elm, black ash, and red maple, whereas bogs favour open black spruce, and tamarack. This undulating to rolling lowland is underlain by soft Mesozoic sandstone in the Annapolis Valley and Palaeozoic shale, sandstone, gypsum, and limestone in the Minas Lowlands. The ecoregion is mantled by deep, loamy, glacial till, alluvium, and fluvioglacial outwash, particularly in the Annapolis Valley, whereas flat and raised bogs, and stream and horizontal fens are significant on the Minas Lowlands. Humo-Ferric Podzols formed in sandy soils are characteristic of the Annapolis Valley. Loamy Gray Luvisols, Gleysols, stony Humo-Ferric Podzols, and Gleyed Regosols are typical of the Minas Lowlands. Fibrisols are found on bogs, and Mesisols on fens. The region provides habitat for white-tailed deer, snowshoe hare, porcupine, raccoon, red fox, coyote, and beaver. Agriculture, including dairy, fruit, vegetables, and livestock production, is the principal land use in the Annapolis Valley. Farmlands occupy 22% of the ecoregion. Forestry is significant in the eastern section of the ecoregion. The major communities include Kentville and Windsor. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 108 900.

This ecoregion is part of the Atlantic Maritime ecozone.