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


This ecoregion covers all of Prince Edward Island. Moderated by the Atlantic Ocean, the summers are warm and winters mild and snowy. The mean annual temperature is approximately 5.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 15°C and the mean winter temperature is -3.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 900-1150 mm. Little of the original mixedwood forest is left on the island. Cultivated fields were once covered with red oak, sugar maple, yellow birch, and beech. Abandoned fields are reverting to forests of white and red spruce. In the west and along the windswept north shore, dwarf conifers are prominent on upland flats and valley bottoms. Black spruce and tamarack are common on wetlands. Eastern white pine is widespread on coarse-textured soils. The island is part of the Maritime Plain consisting of flat to gently dipping late Palaeozoic sandstones, siltstone, and conglomerates that rise from sea level to a high of 142 m asl inland. This undulating plain is mantled with loamy glacial till, fluvioglacial deposits, and level marine sediments of varying depth. This ecoregion has the best-developed sand dune and beach systems in the Atlantic Maritime ecozone. These systems, combined with ocean waters that, during the summer, are the warmest ocean waters in Canada, make them ideal recreational sites. The dominant soils of the region are Humo-Ferric Podzols. Significant inclusions are Gleysols, Gray Luvisols, Mesisols on flat and bowl bogs, and Fibrisols on domed bogs and fens. The ecoregion provides coastal and salt marsh habitat for shorebirds and seabirds. Agriculture, ocean-based fishery, tourism, and recreation are the predominant land uses. Farmland occupies much of the ecoregion. The major communities include Charlottetown and Summerside. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 129 800.

This ecoregion is part of the Atlantic Maritime ecozone.