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Confidential

Page
1

3/18/2013

Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon


Yukon digital bioclimate zones
-

interim release of data


Citation

Flynn, N.J. (compiler), June 2011. Yukon digit
al bioclimate zones

-

interim
Version 1.0
release of data.

Version 1.0 release of data. Downloaded from Yukon Environment ftp site
[
ftp.geoma
ticsyukon.ca
\
Environment
\
ELC
\
Bioclimate] on XXX (replace XXX with date of
download).


Summary
:
Bio
climate zone mapping

from six projects, conducted between 2003 and
2010, were

compiled

into one Bioclimate layer with a common legend. Whe
re projects
overlapp
ed
, older vintag
e Bioclimate zones w
ere updated with the most recent version.

A
proposed modification to bioc
limate zone

nomenclature

and
an
introduction of a

subzone
classification schema
is
not
included in the
shape file
database

but is described
in

this

report
.


Digital Geospatial file:

YukonBioclimate_Version1_Interim_Zone
(shape file)


Projection:

Yukon Albers


Introduction
: A Brief History


Bioclimate
,
or

‘Bio
-
Climate’
,

zones
of Yukon
were

first
described

in “
Concepts,
Rationale and Suggested Standard
s for the Yukon Ecosystem Classification and Mapping
Framework


First Approximation
” by
Yukon Ecosystem Classification and Mapping
Working Group
(YECMWG)
in
2003. YECMWG
(2003)
adopted Holland’s
(1976)

‘Bio
-
Clim
ate’
concept
s

used

to
map
biophysical featur
es in

Jasper and Banff National Parks

in

Alberta.
Holland and Coen (editors) published their work

(two volumes)

in
1983
(Holland and Coen 1983)
.
Like Holland (1976), YECMWG

(
2003
)
delineated

climatic
units based on differences in
dominant
vegetation physio
gnomy and species composition
that reflect
ed

macroclimatic differences
.
Using this
vegetation dominance approach,
b
ioclimatic units
on the landscape
were

further
stratified
into
observable vegetation
patterns

associated with predominant elevation and latit
udinal (i.e., local climates

and
slope/aspect) gradients.

A r
eference
site concept was

not
a
diagnostic feature
for the
stratification of

bioclimate
units (zone boundaries)

in either Holland (1983) or
YECMWG (2003)
.


A

pilot project
, to test

YECMWG (2003)

concepts, was conducted

by EBA Ltd
on
behalf of Yukon Government
in Southern Lakes and Pelly

Mountain Ecoregion (EBA
2003)
.
In this pilot project
, s
everal modifications to
the
YECMWG (2003)

Bioclimate
zone
definition were
introduced
to bring the concept
s

in line with Holland (1976) and
BC’s Biogeoclimatic (BGC) System, which recognizes broadly

defined B
iogeoclimatic
(BGC)

Zones, Subzones and Variants (Meidinger and Pojar 1991). The most significant
change introduced by EBA (2003) was splitting “Boreal” in
to a “Boreal Low” and
“Boreal High” in a manner similar to
that used to define

adjacent BGC Subzones for BC
Confidential

Page
2

3/18/2013

Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon

(Meidinger and Pojar 1991).
Within the
context of the
Southern Lakes and Pelly
Mountain Ecoregion
, BGC’s
Spruce Willow Birch (SWB)
zone
was found to

be

equivalent to Boreal High and Boreal White and Black Spruce (BWBS)

zone
was

equivalent to Boreal Low.

Table
1

lists the
B
ioclimate zones proposed by YECMWG
(2003) and
modifications by
EBA (2003
)
.


Since 2003, Bioclimate zones in Yukon have been delinea
ted on a project by
project basis.
In many
cases
,
rules for delineating Bioclimate zones used elevation
breaks that were generally applied within entire Ecodistricts in a “polygon rule
-
based”
approach.
DEM
s

and remotely
-
sensed imagery
were
also
used to id
entify and delineate
bioclimate zone
s. The mapping scale of bioclimatic zones is 1:100,000 with most input
data at a nominal scale of 1:50,000 for vecto
r data and 25m to 30m pixel resolution

for
raster inputs.
It is noted
however, that

the transition zone

between one
Bioclimate
zone to
another
can extend

over 100’s of metres or

several
kilometers depending on the nature of
the transition

zone
(i.e. broad latitudinal vs a sharp elevation gradient).
While successive
bioclimate
mapping
project
s

have
built on

knowledge gained on

previous
efforts
, a
comprehensive review of the current bioclimate classification and mapping in Yukon
has
not been done and is required.


Listed below are p
roje
cts that
mapped
bioclimate zones according to the

YECMWG
(2003)

definition

of bioclimate zone

with
EBA (2003)
modifications:




Southern Lakes and Pelly Mountains Ecoregions (regional ecosys
tem
classification and mapping). EBA.

2003
.

(final report available)



Southeast Yukon
bioclimate mapping
.

Grods, J.

2005
.

(no final report avai
lable)



North Yukon (covering North Yukon and Peel Watershed Planning Region


Regional Terrain Mapping)
.

Francis, S. and Steffen, N.

2005
.

(metadata report
available)

(see Appendix I
-

Classification)



Forest Cover and Terrain Attributes


Champagne and Ai
sihik Traditional
Territory (included bio
-
climate
mapping

(
YECMWG 2003
)
.
Nancy Steffen,
Gartner Lee Ltd.

2006
.

(metadata report available)

(
see Appendix II


Classification

and Appendix IV for final report
)



Dawson (Bioclimate, Ecodistrict and Ecologically
Significant Features Mapping
for the Dawson Planning Region,Yukon.)
Silvatech
.
2010 (final report available)
(see Appendix I
I
I


Classification)



Southern Lakes bioclimate mapping


Grods, J. and LaPointe, S. 2011.


Technical Working Group R
eview


April 1
4, 2011.


Based on the Ecological and Landscape Classification
-

Technical Working Group
(ELC
-
TWG)
on April 14, 2011
major

changes to the
YECMWG (2003) and EBA (2003)
definition of bioclimate zones and subzones
were recommended
.


Recommended changes by th
e ELC
-
TWG (April 14, 2011)
:



1.

I
dentify and delineate bioclimate zones

consistently throughout Yukon

Confidential

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3

3/18/2013

Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon

2.

Identify

sub
-
zone differences
within

bioclimate zones
b
ased on meso
climatic
patterns

3.

Develop a bioclimate zone and subzone n
aming system

that follow
meaning
ful
climatic nomenclature rather than
that derived
from physiogr
aphic features or
ecoregions.


1.
Consistency in definition


Following Strong and Leggat (1992)
,

the ELC
-
Technical Working Group committed to
using a

modal site concept to
define

reference sit
es.

Reference sites would be used to
characterize bioclimate zones and subzones

and delineate zone boundaries
.

Vegetation on
modal sites
reflects

the regional climate (macroclimate or mesoclimate) and
is
not overly
influenced by the local microclimate.
It
was also noted that
reference site
s

may not
necessarily
reflect the

most abu
ndant vegetation within a zone or subzone
.


R
eference site
s are define
d

by

the following characteristics:

1.

middle slope position on the meso
-
slope in mountainous terrain; upper sl
ope

position in subdued terrain;

2.

slope position, gradient, aspect, and location that does not result in a strong

modification of climate (e.g., frost pocket, snow drift area, steep south or
north

aspect);

3.

gentle to moderate (5
-
30%) slope; in dry or cold cl
imates, on slopes to less
than

5%; in wet climates, on slopes up to 50%;
and

4.

soils

that have: (a) a moderately deep to deep (50
-
100+ cm) rooting zone
(except when restricted by permafrost), (b) no restricting horizon within the
rooting zone (except when p
ermafrost is present), (c) loamy texture with
coarse fragment content less than 50% by volume, and (d) free drainage
(except where permafrost may be influencing drainage).


2.
Defining
inter
-
zone macroclimatic patterns


Bioclimate zones

are defined as geo
graphic areas that are relatively uniform in its
macro
climatic processes resulting in characteristic plant communities on reference sites
based o
n dominant overstory vegetation.

B
ioclimate zone
s are

characterized by the
predominant stable plant community a
t the Macrogroup or Group
1

level of the CNVC
growing
on

reference sites.


Bioclimate subzones

are defined as geographic areas that are relatively uniform
in its mesoclimatic processes resulting in characteristic plant communities on reference
sites based
on dominant overstory vegetation and understory plan community.
The



1

Macrogroup is defined as combination
s of moderate sets of diagnostic plant species and diagnostic growth forms that reflect
biogeographic differences in composition and sub
-
continental to regional differences in mesoclimate, geology, substrates, hydrology,
and disturbance regimes.

Group is

defined as combinations of relatively narrow sets of diagnostic plant species (including dominants and co
-
dominants),
broadly similar composition, and diagnostic growth forms that reflect biogeographic differences in composition and sub
-
continental to
reg
ional differences in mesoclimate, geology, substrates, hydrology, and disturbance regimes

NATIONAL VEGETATION
CLASSIFICATION STANDARD, VERSION 2. Federal Geographic Data Committee publication: FGDC
-
STD
-
005
-
2008 (Version
2).

Confidential

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Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon

bioclimate subzone is characterized by the predominant stable plant community at the
Alliance or Association
2

level of the CNVC growing
on

reference sites.
3



Using remotely
-
sensed data
alone to delineate
subz
one boundarie
s

is problematic
;
such information is limited in its ability to identify
species composition/dominance in the
dominant stratum and doe
s not include the understory. The current
delineation

of
bioclimate subzones

is based
common (i.e. grouped)
climatic patterns of ecoregions
4

(
Steffen
et al
.
2004; see Appendix IV)

or climatic regions. These regions are described
in Table 2.
As further

analys
is is conducted using plot data

and remote
-
sensing the
subzone and consequently zon
e
and subzone
boundaries
are certain to

change.


3.
Naming

Conventions


The Technical Workin
g Group agreed in concept that Yukon’s

zone and subzone naming
system

should follow that used by
Strong and Zoltai (1989)
5
, rather than
one based on
phys
iographic o
r ecoregion (Marshall
et al
.
1999
, Smith

et al
. 2005)
features
. A proposed
naming convention
following Strong and Zoltai (1989) nomenclature
is
proposed

in
Table
3

along with a description of zone and subzone climatic units
.
W
e also used
geographic locati
on (i.e. north, central, south etc) to describe subzone destinctions based
on regional climatic patterns.
Figure 1 shows a map of bioclimate zones and proposed
subzones for Yukon.
Note that there are areas of southwest, and central Yukon t
hat
have
not been

mapped using this approach.


Next Steps


Over the next couple of months
the ELC Coordinator

will work with
ELC T
echnical
Working Group
advisors to test the robustness of each zone and subzone described above
with available data (sat
images, plot data 5000
+).
There is on
-
going discussion whether
shrub and tundra zones in the north (i.e. Taiga)
should
be
should be grouped

as a gene
ral
subalpine or subarctic type. Future assessments of the delineated zones and classification
should consider this amalgamatio
n.
Bioclimate zones and subzones described in
Table
3

will be used as a starting point to assess whether the zone and subzone definitions and
delineation holds up with the definitions and conditions outlined in this document.

As a
part of this assessment,

we will describe the range of ecological communities on wetter
and drier sites than the reference site condition (or mesic)

at the zone and subzone level
.
We will

also complete climatic mapping for areas in central

and southern Yukon.






2

Alliance is diagnostic species
, usually from multiple growth forms or layers, and more narrowly similar composition that reflect
topo
-
edaphic climate, substrates, hydrology, and disturbance regimes.

Association is diagnostic species, usually from multiple growth forms or layers, and m
ore narrowly similar composition that reflect
topo
-
edaphic climate, substrates, hydrology, and disturbance regimes.

Federal Geographic Data Committee 2008. National Vegetaton
Classification Standards, Version 2. FGDC
-
STD
-
005
-
2008 (Version 2).

3

Still quite

theoretical in concept


remains to be seen if this is the appropriate level to characterize plant communities.

4

Note that the ecoregion boundaries
used were derived from the
Yukon Soils Inventory and Updat
es digital data by Steffen, N et al.
2004.
(see
Appendix IV for report).

5

Strong, W.
L.

and Zoltai, S.C. Ecoclimatic regions of Canada first approximation written and compiled by Ecoregions Working
Group, Canada Committee on Ecological Land Classification, Ecoclimatic regions of Canada first approximati
on written and
compiled by Ecoregions Working Group, Canada Committee on Ecological Land Classification, Ottawa


Confidential

Page
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3/18/2013

Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon

Table 1

Bioclimat
e zones of Yukon (YECMWG 2003 and EBA 2003)


Bioclimate

Zone


Code

Description

Boreal Bioclimate Zones (Southern Yukon)

Boreal Low

BOL

Continuously forested areas at low to middle elevations, below the BOH of all
mountain valley and plateau ecoregions of

southern and central Yukon.
Landscapes are generally wide valleys. Winters are long and cold, with short,
cool and dry summers. Forests are generally mixedwood (lodgepole pine, white
spruce and aspen)
with moderately
6

developed

understories. Wetlands are
common.

Boreal High

BOH

Middle to upper elevations of forested areas in all mountain valley and plateau
ecoregions of southern and central Yukon. Found above the BOL in large
valleys. Characterized by steep slopes in southern mountainous ecoregions and
ge
ntle rolling plateaus in the central ecoregions. Summers are brief, cool and
moist, with long cold winters. Forests are dominated by white spruce, lodgepole
pine, and subalpine fir.

Subalpine

SUB

Sparsely forested areas at moderate to higher elevations
on steep slopes above the
BOH (or BOL). Subalpine areas form a transitional zone between forested Boreal
and the higher elevation non
-
forested, Alpine bioclimate zones. Open canopy
conifer forests (tree cover < 20%) and tall shrub communities are character
istic
vegetation conditions. Subalpine fir is the predominant tree species. Winters are
long and cold, while summers are short, cool and moist.

Taiga and Tundra Bioclimate Zones (Northern Yukon)

Taiga Wooded

TAW

Coniferous or mixedwood forested areas wi
th an open canopy in northern Yukon.
Taiga Wooded generally occurs in valley bottoms and lower slopes of mountain
valleys, or on plateaus and plains. Slope position, aspect and the distribution and
depth of permafrost are major influences on vegetation d
istribution and
dynamics. In steep terrain, active slope processes (rock slides, slumps, talus
cones) play a major role in the distribution of forests.

Taiga Shrub

TAS


High elevation Taiga Shrub replaces the term ‘Subalpine’ in northern Yukon.
These a
reas are tall or low shrub
-
dominated, with sparse or sporadic tree cover.
Taiga Shrub generally occurs at high elevations in northern mountain systems.
However, the distribution of Taiga Shrub in some areas of northern Yukon
appears to be influenced by arc
tic weather systems (e.g., along the eastern
foothill slopes of the Richardson Mountains); this situation may require a
different bioclimate zone designation similar to BOH and BOL.

Tundra

TUN

High latitude areas in northern Yukon above the arctic tree li
ne. Dwarf shrubs,
tussock tundra, herb/cryptograms and low
-
growing and scattered krummholtz
trees are the predominant vegetation condition.

Alpine Bioclimate Zone (all of Yukon)

Alpine

ALP

High elevations associated with mountainous conditions throughout

Yukon.
Dwarf shrubs, herb/cryptograms and low
-
growing and scattered krummholtz
trees are the predominant vegetation condition. In very high elevation areas, bare
rock, colluvium or ice/snow may be the dominant conditions.





6

Some publications consider the understory of boreal low to be “well” developed. This is a relative term that will become mor
e
explicit as Yu
kon vegetation classification is established.

Confidential

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Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon

Table 2: Climatic Regions of Y
ukon Flynn and Francis (2011)


Bioclimate
Region

Description

Yukon North
Slope

Coldest and driest area of Yukon


arctic tundra

Northern
Mountains and
Plateau

Old Crow, Eagle Plain, Richardson Moutains

Ogilvie
Mountains and
Plateau

Weather systems from
the Gulf of Alaska drop most of their moisture before they
reach the slopes of this region, but some moisture reaches this area in systems moving
eastward through Alaska. The result is moderate precipitation, coming predominantly
as rain in the summer. Bec
ause of its northern latitude, temperatures are fairly low, but
are not as extreme as in the lowlands of Northern Mountains and Plateau to the north
(Ecoregions Working Group, 2004)

Mackenzie
Mountains

Mackenzie and Selwyn Mountains. Strong orographic ef
fect

Interior Plateau

Mayo, Pelly Crossing, Ross River and Faro. Cooler and wetter than South central.

Klondike Plateau

Dawson area. Colder than South central and Mayo area.

Southeast
Mountains and
Plateau

Southeast Yukon, including Cassiar Mountains,

Liard Basin and Hyland Plateau.
Similar temps as South central but wetter. (Muskwa Plateau is likely an exception)

Kluane and Ruby
Ranges

The Ruby ranges, in the rain shadow of the St. Elias Mountains, contains some of the
coldest and driest areas of Yu
kon’s boreal forest.

South
-
central
Mountains and
Plateau

Southern Lakes, Whitehorse, Teslin. Low elevations of south
-
central region are dry
but warmer than Kluane. High elevations (Coast Mountains) are wet. Also included
are Pelly Mountains

St. Elias
M
ountains

The St. Elias Mountains are the highest mountain range in Canada. Located on the
Pacific Ocean, this area receives over 2m of precipitation annually. Most of the area is
covered in glaciers or sparsely vegetated alpine.

Muskwa

Southern boreal fo
rest extent into Yukon. Warm and moist climatic conditions
compared to rest of Yukon.


Confidential

Page
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3/18/2013

Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon

Table 3
: Proposed Yukon Bioclimate Classification

(McKenna 2011)


Zone

Subzone

Elevation

Mean Annual
Temperature

Soils

Vegetation

Arctic

Low arctic


<
-
9

c
ryosols

Drya
s…

Subarctic

Subarctic taiga


<
-
9

c
ryosols

sparse Spruce
(larch in peel)/
shrub


Subarctic taiga
-
south
7



cryosols//
brunisols

spruce/shrub

Alpine

Cordilleran alpine



cryosols

dryas


Low arctic alpine



cryosols

ground shrub
-
shrub


Maritime influenc
ed
alpine



regosol
lithic
phase

no significant veg
cover, glaciers

Subalpine

Subalpine central
cordilleran



brunisols/t
urbic
cryosols



Subalpine north,
central cordilleran



brunisols,
turbic
cryosols

sparse spruce/fir
-

shrub


Subalpine south



brun
isols


Boreal high
cordilleran

Boreal high west and
north cordilleran


-
3
--
6

cryosols

Black + white
spruce


Boreal high south
-
central cordilleran






Boreal high south
-
east cordilleran





Boreal low
cordilleran

Boreal low mid
-
north cordilleran






Boreal low western
mid
-
north
cordilleran






Boreal low central
cordilleran


0
--
4

b
runisols

mainly white
spruce /pine/aspen


Boreal low east
central cordilleran


-
2
--
6

b
runisols,
luvisols,
podzols

spruce(larch)/mixed
(birch)


Boreal low mid
-
north cordi
lleran










7

The “subarctic taiga
-
south” bioclimate subzone of the subarctic zone includes the Klondike Plateau and St Elias ecoregions. The
inclusion of the St. Elias needs review.

Confidential

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Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon

Figure 1. Mapped bioclimate zones and bioclimate subzones of Yukon

(current extent of
coverage)

-132°0'0"
-132°0'0"
-133°0'0"
-120°0'0"
-122°0'0"
-124°0'0"
-124°0'0"
-125°0'0"
-126°0'0"
-126°0'0"
-127°0'0"
-128°0'0"
-128°0'0"
-129°0'0"
-130°0'0"
-130°0'0"
-131°0'0"
-134°0'0"
-134°0'0"
-135°0'0"
-136°0'0"
-136°0'0"
-137°0'0"
-138°0'0"
-138°0'0"
-139°0'0"
-140°0'0"
-140°0'0"
-141°0'0"
-142°0'0"
-144°0'0"
70°0'0"
69°0'0"
69°0'0"
68°0'0"
68°0'0"
67°0'0"
67°0'0"
66°0'0"
66°0'0"
65°0'0"
65°0'0"
64°0'0"
64°0'0"
63°0'0"
63°0'0"
62°0'0"
62°0'0"
61°0'0"
61°0'0"
60°0'0"
60°0'0"
¯
0
100
200
50
Kilometers
Coverage for Yukon Draft Bioclimate Zones and Subzones (June 21, 2011)
Low arctic
Subarctic taiga
Subarctic taiga-south
Low arctic alpine
Cordilleran alpine
Subalpine north, central cordilleran
Subalpine central cordilleran
Subalpine south
Boreal high west and north cordilleran
Boreal high south-central cordilleran
Boreal high south-east cordilleran
Boreal low mid-north cordilleran
Boreal low western mid-north cordilleran
Boreal low central cordilleran
Boreal low east central cordilleran
Boreal low southern cordilleran
Arctic Bioclimate Zone
Subarctic Bioclimate Zone
Alpine Bioclimate Zone
Subalpine Bioclimate Zone
Boreal High Bioclimate Zone
Boreal Low Bioclimate Zone
Bioclimate mapping
currently underway

Confidential

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Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon

References


EBA 2003. Southern Lakes and Pelly Mountains Ecoregions (regional ecosystem
classification and mapping), report to Yukon Government
, Department of
Environment.


Francis, S. and Steffen, N. 2005. North Yukon (covering North Yukon and Peel
Watershed Planning Region


Regional Terrain Mapping). Powerpoint presentation
document to Department of Environment. 63 pp.


Grods, J. 2005. South
east bioclimate mapping, digital geospatial database to Yukon
Government, Department of Environment.


Grods, J. and LaPointe, S. 2011. Southern Lakes bioclimate mapping, draft digital
geospatial map to
Kwanlin Dün First Nation
,
Lands and Resources Manag
eme
nt and
Claims Implementation.


Grods, J. and McKenna, K. 2006. Review of North Yukon predictive ecosystem map,
report to North Yukon Land Use Planning Commission.


Holland, W.D. 1976. Biophysical Land Classification of Banff and Jasper National Parks.
In
: Ecological (Biophysical) Land Classification in Canada, Proceedings of the First
Meeting, 25
-
28 May, Petawawa, Ontario.


Holland, W.D. and G.M. Coen (eds.). 1983. Ecological (biophysical) land classification
of Banff and Jasper National Parks. Volume I.

Summary. Alberta Institue of
Pedology, Publ. No. M
-
83
-
2. Environment Canada, Agriculture Canada, Edmonton,
Alberta. 193 pp.


Marshall, I.B., Schut, P.H., and Ballard, M.1999. A National Ecological Framework for
Canada: Attribute Data. Agriculture and Agri
-
Food Canada, Research Branch,
Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research, and Environment Canada, State
of the Environment Directorate, Ecozone Analysis Branch, Ottawa/Hull.


Federal Geographic Data Committee 2008. National Vegetaton Classification

Standards,
Version 2.
FGDC
-
STD
-
005
-
2008 (Version 2).


Meidinger, D and J. Pojar (editors). 1991. Ecosystems of British Columbia, B.C. Ministry
of Forests, Victoria, BC. Special Report No. 6. 330 pp.


Silvatech Ltd. 2010.
Bioclimate, Ecodistrict and Ecolog
ically Significant Features
Mapping
for the Dawson Planning Region,Yukon
, report to Yukon Government,
Department of Environment. 57pp.


Steffen, N. 2006. Forest Cover and Terrain Attributes


Champagne and Aisihik
Traditional Territory, report to Yukon Gov
ernment, Energy, Mines and Resources,
Forest Operations.

Confidential

Page
10

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Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon


Steffen, N., McKenna, K., Gallagher, M. and Lambert, C. 2004. Yukon soils inventory
and updates,
r
eport
to
Agriculture and Agri
-
Food Canada,
Horticulture and
Environment
.


Smith, C.A.S., Meikle, J.C
., and Roots, C.F. (editors), 2004. Ecoregions of the Yukon
Territory:

Biophysical properties of Yukon landscapes. Agriculture and Agri
-
Food
Canada, PARC Technical

Bulletin No. 04
-
01, Summerland, British Columbia, 313 p.


Strong, W.L. and
Leg
gat K.R.,

1992
. Ecoregions of Alberta. Alberta Forestry, Lands and
Wildlife, Edmonton, AB. Pub. No. T/245. Map at 1:1,000,000.


Strong, W.
L.

and Zoltai, S.C. Ecoclimatic regions of Canada first approximation written
and compiled by Ecoregions Working Group, Canada Commi
ttee on Ecological
Land Classification, Ecoclimatic regions of Canada first approximation written and
compiled by Ecoregions Working Group, Canada Committee on Ecological Land
Classification, Ottawa


Yukon Ecosystem Classification and
Mapping Working Group

(YECMWG)
2003. Eds.
Francis, S.R., and N. Steffen. 2003. Concepts, Rationale and Suggested Standards for
the Yukon Ecosystem Classifcation and Mapping Framework


First Approximation.
Draft, ver 1.3.

Confidential

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Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon

Appendix I

-

North Yukon
Biophysical Mapping
(North Y
ukon Regional Terrain
Mapping 2005)



Ecozone

Bio
-
Climate

Zone

Bio
-
Climate

Zone Description

Boreal

Cordillera

Ecozone

Boreal

Continuously forested areas at low and middle elevations of all
mountain valley and plateau Ecoregions of southern and central
Yuk
on. Tree species differences may result in the formation of
“upper” and “lower” boreal forested areas along an elevation
gradient. However, at this time it is not proposed that these
areas be further separated based on Bio
-
Climate Zone
delineation. Area
s influenced by cold air drainage are identified
by a process modifier or at the vegetation/ecosystem unit level
of the framework.



Subalpine

Sparsely forested areas at moderate


high elevations. Subalpine
areas form a transitional zone between foreste
d boreal valley
bottoms/mountain slopes and the non
-
forested, high elevation
Alpine Bio
-
Climate Zone. Open canopy conifer forest and tall
shrub communities are characteristic vegetation types. Bio
-
Climate Zone delineation between the boreal and subalpine

zones is determined by “where the continuous forest ends”.


Taiga
Cordillera
/ Taiga
Plains
Ecozones

Wooded
Taiga


Primarily coniferous forested areas with an open forest canopy.
Wooded Taiga generally occurs in valley bottoms and lower
slopes of mounta
in valleys or on plateaus and plains. The
distribution and depth of permafrost is a major influence of
vegetation distribution and dynamics. In steep terrain, active
slope processes (rock slides, slumps, talus cones, etc.) play a
major role in the actual

distribution of forested areas. This
bioclimate zone can border alpine as well as shrub taiga
bioclimate zones.
8






8

In a review of this classification b
y Grods and McKenna 2006 they proposed that the Wooded Taiga unit
at low elevations on floodplains of major rivers north of 60’ latitude could be considered “Boreal” in the
Taiga Cordillera / Taiga Plains Ecozone.

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Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon


Shrub
Taiga


High elevation Shrub Taiga replaces the term “Subalpine” in
North Yukon. These areas are tall or low shrub
-
dominated areas
with sparse or sporadic tree cover. Shrub Taiga generally occurs
at high elevations in northern mountain systems. However, the
distribution of Shrub Taiga in some areas of North Yukon
appears to be influenced to a large degree by arctic weather
systems (
eg. along the east slopes of the Richardson Mountain
foothills). This bioclimate zone can border alpine as well as
wooded taiga bioclimate zones.
9



Alpine


Highest elevations of mountain regions; dwarf shrub,
herb/cryptogram and low stature, scattered k
rummholz trees are
the dominant vegetation type
10
. In very high elevation areas,
large areas may include bare rock, colluvium or scattered ice or
relatively permanent snow patches


the extent of unvegetated
areas within the Alpine Bio
-
Climate Zone of Nor
th Yukon is
generally more extensive than in the Boreal Cordillera. This
bioclimate zone can border wooded taiga as well as shrub taiga
bioclimate zones.

Taiga
Cordillera
/ Taiga
Plains /
Southern
Arctic
Ecozones

Tundra


This landscape is dominated by d
warf shrub, and
herb/cryptogram (trees are absent). In Northern Yukon a strong
climatic influence from the Arctic weather influences the
establishment of cold climate vegetation. Plant communities are
influenced by a short growing season. This area is a
lso
governed by continuous permafrost.

All
Ecozones

Icefield

Highest elevations of mountain regions with extensive icefields.
Most areas are covered by ice and bare rock; vegetated areas are
very limited. Due to regional precipitation regimes, the Icefi
eld
bio
-
climate zone in Yukon is limited to the Kluane Region of
southwest Yukon and isolated areas within major mountain
ranges (Mackenzie and Selwyn Mountains).







9

In a review of this classification by Gr
ods and McKenna * they proposed that the “Shrub Taiga” unit
could be called “
Taiga”
in the Taiga Cordillera / Taiga Plains Ecozone
and added that it generally occurs at
moderate to high elevations in northern mountain systems. In steep terrain, active slo
pe processes (rock
slides, slumps, talus cones, etc.) play a major role in the actual distribution of forested areas. Many riparian
sites in this zone are similar to boreal riparian sites.

10

In a review of this classification by Grods and McKenna * they co
rrected this stated to propose
dwarf
shrub and herb/cryptogram are the dominant vegetation type in the Alpine.

Confidential

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Nadele Flynn, ELC Coordinator
-

Environment Yukon


Appendix II

-

Champagne and Aisihik Traditional Territory:

Summa
ry of Bio
-
Climate
Zones

(YECMF 2003
):


Bio
-
Climate

Zone

Bio
-
Climate

Zone Description

Boreal
-

Low

Continuously forested areas at low elevations of all mountain valley
and plateau Ecoregions of southern and central Yukon.

Boreal
-

High

Continuously forested areas at middle el
evations of all mountain valley
and plateau Ecoregions of southern and central Yukon.

Subalpine


Sparsely forested areas at moderate


high elevations. Subalpine areas
form a transitional zone between forested boreal valley
bottoms/mountain slopes and
the non
-
forested, high elevation Alpine
Bio
-
Climate Zone. Open canopy conifer forest and tall shrub
communities are characteristic vegetation types. Bio
-
Climate Zone
delineation between the boreal and subalpine zones is determined by
“where the continuou
s forest ends”.

Alpine

Highest elevations of mountain regions; dwarf shrub, herb/cryptogram
and low stature, scattered krummholtz trees are the dominant
vegetation type. In very high elevation areas, large areas may include
bare rock, colluvium or scatte
red ice patches.


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-

Environment Yukon

Appendix II
I

-

Bioclimate, Ecodistrict and Ecologically Significant Features Mapping for
the Dawson Planning Region,Yu
kon (2010).

Bioclimate
Zone

Description

Boreal Low

Continuously forested areas at low elevations along major river va
lleys,

below the BOH
.

Much more restricted distribution than in southern and

central Yukon. Winters are long and cold, with short, cool and moist

summers. Forests are generally white spruce dominated with
moderately

developed understories. Black spruce and

aspen are also
commonly

found. Vegetation is structurally similar to BOH above but
the warmer

climate results in much larger trees.

Boreal High

Middle to upper elevations of forested areas in all ecodistricts west and

south of the Boreal/Taiga boundary f
ormed by the height of land of the

Mackenzie and North Oglivie Mountains. Found above the BOL in large
valleys. Characterized by steep slopes in Mackenzie and North Ogilvie

Mountains ecoregions and gentle rolling plateaus in the Yukon Plateau
-

North and Kl
ondike Plateau ecoregions. Summers are brief, cool and moist,
with long cold winters. Forests are dominated by black or white spruce with
black spruce, birch and to a lesser extent aspen common.

Subalpine

Sparsely forested areas at moderate to higher elev
ations on steep slopes above
the BOH. Subalpine areas form a transitional zone between forested Boreal
and the higher elevation non
-
forested, Alpine bioclimate zones. Open canopy
conifer forests (tree cover < 20%) and shrub communities are characteristic
v
egetation conditions. Tree heights are

below 10 meters and vegetation is not considered forested by Yukon

Vegetation Inventory. White spruce and black spruce are the dominant tree
species. Winters are long and cold, while summers are short and cool.

Woode
d Taiga

Coniferous or mixedwood forested areas with an open canopy in Fishing

Branch Uplands, Nahoni Range, Miner River North, Miner River,

Blackstone River Uplands and Whitestone River Uplands ecodistricts.

Wooded Taiga occurs in valley bottoms and lower
slopes of mountain valleys,
or on plateaus and plains. Slope position, aspect and the distribution and depth
of permafrost are major influences on vegetation distribution and dynamics.
In steep terrain, active slope processes (rock slides, slumps, talus co
nes) play
a major role in the distribution of forests. The zone is dominated by shrub and
herbaceous vegetation types but trees are common and well distributed when
compared to the Shrub Taiga.

Shrub Taiga

High elevation Shrub Taiga within the Taiga ecozo
ne is akin to the

Subalpine bioclimate zone in the Boreal ecozone These areas are tall or low
shrub
-
dominated, with sparse or sporadic tree cover. Shrub Taiga generally
occurs at high elevations in northern mountain systems.

Alpine

High elevations associa
ted with mountainous conditions throughout

Yukon. Dwarf shrubs, herb/cryptograms and low
-
growing and scattered

krummholtz trees are the dominant vegetation condition. In very high
elevation areas, bare rock, colluvium or ice/snow may be the dominant
condit
ions.


Confidential

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-

Environment Yukon
























Appendix IV
-

Yukon Soils Inventory and Updates


Draft Coverage and Report




Yukon Soils Inventory and Updates

01R11
-
03
-
N008




prepared for:

Scott Smith

Agriculture and Agri
-
Food Canada

Horticulture and Environment




prep
ared by:

Gartner Lee Limited


in association with:

CryoGeographic Consulting



reference:

date:

GLL 40051

April, 2004



distribution:

1

Agriculture and Agri
-
Food Canada

1

Gartner Lee Limited






April 19, 2004


Scott Smith

Agriculture & Agri
-
Food Canad
a

Horticulture and Environment

Highway 97

Summerland BC


V0H 1Z0


Re:


40051


Yukon Soils Inventory and Updates


Draft Coverage and
Report

Contract No:

01R11
-
03
-
N008



Dear Scott:


Please find
enclosed our draft report accompanying draft line work of the Yukon SLC
version 3.0 for your comment and review. We have also made the newly created Landsat
mosaic (Geomatics Yukon 2004) available to you on an FTP site to allow you to view the
coverage in

the context of the primary base data used in the delineation of SLC. We will
send you the FTP information in an email.


In the database we have not as yet populated the sl
-
v2.2 field; updates to the SLC
coverage were extensive and as such the revised
line work differs substantially from the
original coverage. If required we can conduct a spatial join to attribute the sl
-
v2.2 field
with the SLC v2.2 polygon that comprises the majority of the new SLC v3.0 polygon.
We will await direction from AAFC proj
ect monitors.


An additional nineteen ecodistricts were identified in the updated SLC v3.0 compared
with the SLC v2.2 coverage. These ecodistricts have been assigned numbers 9101


9118. One new ecoregion has been identified in the updated SLC v3.0 co
verage:
Davidson Mountains ecoregion was added to Yukon SLC based on ecoregion delineation
by Nowacki
et al
.

(2002).


We would like to acknowledge the assistance of a number of individuals who were
instrumental in the creation of this coverage. In parti
cular Mr. Walter Fraser (Agriculture
and Agri
-
Food Canada), Mr. John Meikle (Yukon Territorial Government Department of
Environment), Mr. Shawn Francis (Yukon Land Use Planning Council) and Ms. Crystal
Huscroft (Yukon Territorial Government).


Page
2

Gartner Lee Ltd.

April 19, 2004


Yours very

truly,

GARTNER LEE LIMITED





Kirk Cameron,

Manager, Whitehorse Office


mg:mg





Page
i




Tabl e of Cont e nt s



Letter of Transmittal

Page

1.

Background and Objectives

................................
................................
..............................
1

1.1

Existing Ecological Frameworks

................................
................................
........................

1

1.2

Future Ecological Frameworks

................................
................................
...........................

1

1.3

Specific Objectives

................................
................................
................................
.............

2

2.

Methods

................................
................................
................................
...............................
2

2.1

Updates to Soil Landscape Polygons

................................
................................
..................

2

2.1.1

D
ata Collation, Review and Evaluation

................................
................................
.

2

2.1.2

SLC Line Work Updates

................................
................................
........................

3

Criteria for Determining Ecodistrict and Ecoregion Boundaries

...........................

3

Criteria for Determining Soil Landsc
ape Boundaries

................................
............

4

Other Considerations

................................
................................
.............................

4

2.1.3

SLC PAT Updates

................................
................................
................................
.

5

2.2

Provision of Data for Updates to SLC CMP

................................
................................
.......

6

3.

Results

................................
................................
................................
................................
.
6

3.1

Updates to Soil Landscape Polygons

................................
................................
..................

6

4.

References

................................
................................
................................
...........................
7

5.

Personal Communications

................................
................................
................................
9




List of Tables


Table 1.
Attribute Table
Structure………………………………………
………………………………....5



d r a f t f o r d i s c u s s i o n

Y u k o n S o i l s I n v e n t o r y a n d U p d a t e s


1



1.

Background and Objectives

One of the objectives of the National Land and Water Information System (NLWIS) developed
by Agriculture and Agri
-
Food Canada (AAFC) is “to
develop, compile, maintain and update
baseline resource information”
with the aim to “lead in providing the best available information,
analysis and interpretation of land and water resources in partnership with others to all Canadians
for improved local and regional agricultural land and water management decisions within a

National framework” (
http://www.agr.gc.ca/nlwis/
). Baseline soil
landscape, and climatic data
for all of Canada

is stored in the National Soil Database (NSDB).
The Soil Landscapes of
Canada (SLC) is a component part of the NSDB. The SLC are organized a
ccording to a uniform
national set of soil and landscape criteria based on permanent natural attributes
(http://sis.agr.gc.ca/cansis/nsdb/slc/). SLC are currently mapped at 1:1,000,000 scale and were
last updated in December 1996 (SLC version 2.2).


The

overall objective of this current project, as outlined in the project statement of work (AAFC
2003) and through communication with AAFC project monitors, is to update and revise SLC line
work and, as much as possible given limitations of time and availabl
e data, update the associated
Yukon databases in preparation for implementation of the National Land and Water Information
System in 2004 using methods that will meet existing published Canadian Soil Information
System (CanSIS) data standards. This propos
al directs that updates and revisions be made using
more accurate base data (i.e., 1:250,000 rather than 1:1,000,00 scale) and nest within existing
(ESWG 1996) and future ecological frameworks (AEM and YECMWG 2003).



1.1

Existing Ecological Frameworks

The N
ational Ecological Framework is a component part of the NSDB. This framework
identifies broad geographical areas within Canada that are climatically and physiographically
similar (ESWG 1996). The National Ecological Framework currently delineates ecozones
,
ecoregions and ecodistricts at 1:1,000,000 scale. SLC polygons are nested within the ecodistricts,
ecoregions and ecozones of the National Ecological Framework.


1.2

Future Ecological Frameworks

The Yukon Biophysical Mapping Framework (YBMF) is being propos
ed as the territorial
mapping standard for all future base line data collection and environmental assessment projects
(AEM and YECMWG 2003). The proposed framework incorporates the National Ecological
Framework delineation of ecozones, ecoregions and ecod
istricts and also provides methodology
to describe both regional (1:250,000 scale) and local (1:50,000 or 1:20,000 scale) ecosystems
through the incorporation of more detailed climate, terrain and vegetation characteristics. First
iterations of 1:250,000
scale regional ecosystem mapping currently cover an area of over
d r a f t f o r d i s c u s s i o n

Y u k o n S o i l s I n v e n t o r y a n d U p d a t e s


2



191,000 km
2

throughout Yukon and includes the Yukon Plateau North, Yukon Plateau Central
and Klondike Plateau Ecoregions (AEM 2000); Hyland Highland and Muskwa Plateau
Ecoregions (AEM 2000);
Eagle Plains, Peel Plateau and Mackenzie Mountains Ecoregions
(2001). Preliminary regional ecosystem mapping has also been recently completed for the
Yukon Southern Lakes and Pelly Mountains Ecoregions (J. Meikle, pers. comm., November 4,
2003).


1.3

Specifi
c Objectives

The primary objective of this work was to update soil landscape (SLC) line work and associated attribute
table. A secondary objective of this work was to provide general soil descriptions that can be used at a
later date to help populate new
SLC component database fields. However, given limitations of time this
secondary objective could not be met. This report therefore outlines the methods used to revise and
update SLC line work and associated attributes and aims to document the rationale b
ehind updates to line
work and associated attributes.




2.

Methods

The following methods outline the general approach to the updates to SLC line work and
attributes. These methods were adaptive throughout the project and responsive to the ongoing
communic
ation with project monitors within AAFC.


2.1

Updates to Soil Landscape Polygons

2.1.1

Data Collation, Review and Evaluation

The most accurate and comprehensive digital data available to guide SLC polygon revisions is
the Yukon 90m colour Landsat mosaic (simulated

natural colour with shaded relief) available
from Geomatics Yukon and the 1:250,000 scale National Topographic Database (NTDB)
contour and hydro features. The Landsat mosaic is available for the majority of the territory and
1:250,000 scale NTDB are avai
lable for the entire territory. Updates to SLC line work utilized
both the Landsat mosaic and 1:250,000 scale NTDB as guides while considering line work will
be viewed at 1:1,000,000 scale. Regional Ecosystem Mapping (AEM 2000; AEM 2001) was
used to assi
st in the updates to SLC polygon line work and ecodistrict determination.


Vmap0 data were not used in the delineation of SLC polygons; Yukon regional datasets provided
much increased accuracy over Vmap0 data. Due to insufficient time, large discrepanci
es
between 1:1,000,000 scale Vmap0 and 1:250,000 scale NTDB hydro features were not flagged
d r a f t f o r d i s c u s s i o n

Y u k o n S o i l s I n v e n t o r y a n d U p d a t e s


3



although this was initially discussed with AAFC project monitors. It is hoped that additional
funding will become available to complete this task.



2.1.2

SLC Line Work

Updates

In addition to following the Ecological Mapping Framework Guidelines available at
http://sis.agr.gc.ca/cansis/nsdb/intro.html, http://sis.agr.gc.ca/cansis/nsdb/ecostrat/intro.html
(Marshall, I. B. and P. H. Schut, 1999) and in Fraser (2003) the fo
llowing general criteria were
used in coordination with AAFC project monitors to determine boundaries between soil
landscape units, ecodistricts and ecoregions. Additional resources used include: Bostock 1948;
Mathews 1986; Tipper
et al
.

1981, various su
rficial geology, bedrock geology and
geomorphology maps of Yukon.


Criteria for Determining Ecodistrict and Ecoregion Boundaries

The following considerations were employed in the delineation of ecodistrict and ecoregion
polygon boundaries:



Major changes in

physiography were used to distinguish ecodistrict boundaries. For example, the
relative height of mountains, ruggedness of terrain, the presence of glaciers, the relative amount of
area above a specific elevation, relative amount of area within a valley,

the distribution / coverage of
lakes and the extent of large broad valley systems;



Major geological boundaries and fault lines as determined by interpretation of bedrock geology maps;



Major changes in climate as determined by isolines, level of precipita
tion, mean temperatures, the
presence of glaciers and the influence of arctic vs. pacific air masses (Wahl 1987);



Glacial history: glaciated vs. non glaciated areas, presence of glacial lakes and glacial lake deposits as
determined through interpretation o
f glacial limits map of Yukon (Duk
-
Rodkin 1999);



Major bioclimatic changes e.g., taiga vs. boreal, as determined through interpretation of available
ecosystem mapping (AEM 2000; AEM 2001);



Varying distribution of surficial deposits as determined through
interpretation of surficial geology
maps;



We aimed to eliminate extensive incursions of one ecoregion into another where the incursion would
be affected by the surrounding ecoregion, e.g., valley deposits extending in a narrow river valley into
the mountai
ns;



Where boundaries followed a river, lake or drainage system, there was an attempt to include the steep
terraced slopes in the polygon;



In some cases, major watershed boundaries were used to separate valley systems. Watershed
boundaries were determined

by interpretation of contours, water features and the Landsat mosaic.

d r a f t f o r d i s c u s s i o n

Y u k o n S o i l s I n v e n t o r y a n d U p d a t e s


4




Criteria for Determining Soil Landscape Boundaries

The following considerations were employed in the delineation of soil landscape polygon
boundaries:



The occurrence of physiographic
complexes such as mountain massifs, ranges, valleys;



Areas dominated by valleys vs. those dominated by mountains;



In some cases, major watershed boundaries were used to separate valley systems. Watershed
boundaries were determined by interpretation of con
tours, water features and the Landsat mosaic;



Where boundaries followed a river, lake or drainage system, there was an attempt to include the steep
terraced slopes in the polygon;



The distribution of permafrost as determined by interpretation of surficial

geology maps,
Hegginbottom and Radburn (1992) and local knowledge of areas;



Valleys too small for ecodistrict delineation were captured as soil landscape polygons;



Assemblages of surficial deposits including wetland distribution patterns;



Patterns of vege
tation evident on the Landsat mosaic (Geomatics Yukon 2004);



Glacial history: glaciated vs. non glaciated areas, presence of glacial lakes and glacial lake deposits as
determined through interpretation of glacial limits map of Yukon (Duk
-
Rodkin 1999);



Cons
ideration of minimum polygon size, i.e., minimum polygon size is 1cm
2

and minimum polygon
width is 500m (W. Fraser, pers. comm., February 2004).


Other considerations



In some cases, the distribution of lakes was used to determine polygon boundaries i.e.,

lakes may be
included in one ecodistrict or soil landscape unit rather than another based on the general coverage of
lakes, e.g., SLC unit delineated around the thermokarst lakes of the Old Crow Flats and Sheldon Lake
is included in the Ross River Lowland

SLC;



Major slope breaks were used to delineate polygon boundaries, e.g., the top edge of a terrace or the
slope toe. The intent is to include the zone of direct influence of a river or waterbody;



For large lakes, the center line was used in some cases to

delineate polygon boundaries, e.g., between
Yukon Southern Lakes and Yukon Plateau Central;



Jurisdictional borders were not used to delineate polygon boundaries;



Lake shorelines were not used to delineate polygon boundaries;



The Alaska ecoregion coverage
line work (Nowacki
et al
.
, 2002) was used as a guide to update the
Yukon SLC coverage.

d r a f t f o r d i s c u s s i o n

Y u k o n S o i l s I n v e n t o r y a n d U p d a t e s


5




Updates to the Yukon SLC coverage extended beyond the limits of the Yukon border delineated
by 1:1,000,000 scale Vmap0 Yukon border and beyond the 1:250,000 scale bord
er created by
YTG Department of Environment (W. Fraser, pers. comm., February 2004). SLC polygons may
therefore be clipped to the 1:1,000,000 scale Vmap0 border and snapped to the SLC polygons of
neighboring jurisdictions also delineated by the 1:1,000,00
0 scale Vmap0 border or can be
clipped to the 1:250,000 scale border created by YTG Department of Environment.



2.1.3

SLC PAT Updates

Updates were originally made to the SLC point attribute table. This point file was then used to
update the attributes of the S
CL polygon attribute table using ArcInfo GIS. Updates to database
design and data entered followed guidance of Fraser (2003) and coordination with AAFC project
monitors. Table 1 shows the database design, character parameters and descriptions of the
upda
ted SCL polygon attribute table.


Table 1.
Attribute Table Structure

Name

Description

FID

Unique polygon ID (autogenerated in ArcInfo)

SHAPE

Polygon

AREA

Area of polygon in (meters squared) m
2

PERIMETER

Perimeter of polygon in metres (m)

SLC_V3_DRA
FT#

Unique polygon ID (autogenerated in ArcInfo)

SLC_V3_DRAFT
-
ID

Unique polygon ID (autogenerated in ArcInfo)

SL3

Unique polygon ID (blank)

ECODISTRIC

ECODISTRICT ID

ECOREGION

ECOREGION ID

ECOPROVINCE

ECOPROVINCE ID

ECOZONE

ECOZONE ID

SL_V2_2

Origin
al SLC polygon number (blank)

YT_SLC_NO

Yukon Soil Landscape ID number, 9
-
digit number. First two digits
represents Yukon ID number, 11. Next four digits represents ecodistrict ID
number and last three digits represents the soil landscape numbers withi
n
each ecodistrict, e.g. 110180001.

ED_NAME

ECODISTRICT Name

ER_NAME

ECOREGION Name

EZ_NAME

ECOZONE Name

SLC_DESC

Description of Soil Landscape Polygon based on descriptions or named
features from topographic maps




d r a f t f o r d i s c u s s i o n

Y u k o n S o i l s I n v e n t o r y a n d U p d a t e s


6



2.2

Provision of Data for Updates to S
LC CMP

A secondary objective of this project was to provide general soil descriptions that could be used
at a later date to help populate new SLC component database fields. However, given limitations
of time this secondary objective could not be met.




3.

Results

3.1

Updates to Soil Landscape Polygons

Revised SLC v3.0 polygon and ecological units (ecodistrict, ecoregion and ecozone) draft line work is
contained in the following ArcMap / ArcInfo e00 file:




slc_v3_draft.e00


This draft coverage can be viewed wi
th the Landsat mosaic simulated natural colour with shaded relief
(Geomatics Yukon 2004) that is contained in the ecw image file:




YukonMosaicShadedRelief90m.ecw


A total of 488 soil landscape polygons were captured in Yukon SLC version 3.0. Revised l
ine
work differs substantially from the original version 2.2 coverage. Major modifications made to
the version 2.2 SLC line work and attributes can be outlined as follows:




Nineteen new ecodistricts have been identified in the updated SLC v3.0 coverage.
These ecodistricts
have been assigned numbers 9101


9118;



The
Mount Logan

ecoregion has been expanded north and east to match the Alaska line work of
Nowacki et al 2002;



Within the
Saint Elias Mountains

and
Ruby Ranges

ecoregions, the Auriol Range SLC (Yu
kon SLC
number 11895004), Upper Kathleen River SLC (110895005) and Dalton Range SLC (110895006)
were transferred from the
Ruby Ranges

ecoregion to the
Saint Elias Mountains

ecoregion. The
mountains of the Auriol and Dalton Ranges are similar to Mount Cair
nes and Mount Archibald
(Yukon SLC number 110895002), i.e., the Front Ranges, in physiography and geology.

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Aishihik Lake ecodistrict was moved from the
Ruby Ranges

ecoregion to the
Southern Lakes

ecoregion; it has a drier climate and is now correctly with
in the extent of glacial limits. Aishihik
Lake is a transition zone and has been identified as a unique ecodistrict.



Montana Mountain (part of Yukon SLC polygon 110918001) was moved from
Yukon
-

Stikine
Highlands

ecoregion to the
Boreal Mountains and Plat
eaus

ecoregion; the physiography fits more
accurately when extended into British Columbia and is consistent with original ecoregion line work
from BC developed by Demarchi (unpub. map).



Teslin Lake trench has been identified as a unique SLC polygon.



The

Liard Basin

ecoregion line work near Finlayson Lake (represented by Yukon SLC polygon
110924007) has been moved westward to follow the watershed break;



The Upper Coal Valley SLC (Yukon SLC polygon 110880005) was transferred from the
Hyland
Highland

ecore
gion to the
Selwyn Mountains

ecoregion;



The western boundary of
Yukon Plateau
-

Central

ecoregion was moved farther west to conform
better to glacial limits and modified soil landscape lines;



The
Eagle Plains

ecoregion was extended in the northeast and now

includes the Richardson Foothills
ecodistricts (Rock River headwaters area 119107001, 119107002 and the Bell River Valley area
119107003) and the Whitefish Wetlands ecodistricts (119105001 and 119105002). Some of the
headwaters of Johnson Creek (11086200
1) were moved from Eagle Plains ecoregion to the Old Crow
Basin ecoregion.



The boundary between the
Mackenzie Mountains

ecoregion and
North Ogilvie Mountains

ecoregion
was modified around the Blackstone River
-

uplands SLC (11867005) to create a smoother

boundary
with fewer incursions and to conform better to glacial limits;



The
Davidson Mountains

ecoregion (Nowacki et al 2002) was extended into the Yukon in two places:
Old Crow Range (119117002 and 119117003) and the Ammerman Mountain (119117001). Thes
e
areas have been removed from the
Old Crow Basin

ecoregion;



Bonnet Lake area (110862009) was moved from the
British

Richardson

Mountains

ecoregion to the
Old Crow Basin

ecoregion;



The
Wellesley Lake

ecodistrict is still included as part of the
Klondike

Plateau

ecoregion but is more
similar in glacial history to the Ruby Ranges and the Shakwak Trench. It is suggested that this could
be a point of discussion with AAFC project monitors before final coverage creation.



4.

References


d r a f t f o r d i s c u s s i o n

Y u k o n S o i l s I n v e n t o r y a n d U p d a t e s


8



AAFC 2003.
Statement of

Work:

Yukon Soils Data Inventory and Update

released under scientific
authority of Scott Smith, AAFC Pacific Agri
-
Food Research Centre, Summerland, British
Columbia.

Applied Ecosystem Management Ltd. and Yukon Ecosystem Classification and Mapping Worki
ng Group
2003.
Concepts, Rational and Suggested Standards for the Yukon Ecosystem Classification and
Mapping Framework


First Approximation Draft (ver. 1.3).

Prepared for DIAND Environment
Directorate and DIAND Lands Branch.

Bostock, H.S. 1948.
Physio
graphy of the Canadian Cordillera, with special reference to the area north of
the fifty
-
fifth parallel
. Geological Survey of Canada, Memoir 247.

Demarchi, D.
unpub.
map
.
B
ritish Columbia

p
reliminary ecoregion and ecodistrict mapping
.
Unpublished mapping

that
extend
s

into Yukon

Territory
.

Duk
-
Rodkin, A. 1999.
Glacial Limits Map of Yukon Territory
. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File
3694, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Geoscience Map 1999
-
2. Mapping scale 1:1,000,000.

Ecological Stratificatio
n Working Group 1996.
A National Ecological Framework for Canada
.
Agriculture and Agri
-
Food Canada, Research Branch, Centre for Land and Biological Research
and Environment Canada, State of the Environment Directorate, Ecozone Analysis Branch,
Ottawa / H
ull.

Fraser, Walter 2003.
Report to the SLC Technical Advisory Group
-

Third Edition, A Data Base Model
for the Soil Landscapes of Canada v3.0.

January 16, 2003.

Hegginbottom, J.A. and Radburn, L.K. 1992.
Permafrost and Ground Ice Conditions of Weste
rn Canada.

Geological Survey of Canada, Map 1961A.

Marshall, I.B. and P.H. Schut 1999.
A National Ecological Framework for Canada


Overview
. A
cooperate product by Ecosystems Science Directorate, Environment Canada and Research
Branch, Agriculture and
Agri
-
Food Canada.

Mathews W.H., 1986.
Physiography of the Canadian Cordillera. Geological Survey of Canada Map
1701A.

In: Geology of the Canadian Cordilleran Region in Canada (Chapter 11). Edited by H.
Gabrielse and C.J. Yorath. Geological Survey of Canad
a, Geology of Canada, No.4.

Nowacki, G., P. Spencer, M. Fleming, T. Brock and T. Jorgenson 2002. Unified Ecoregions of Alaska.
USGS Open File Report 02
-
297. ArcInfo coverage (nw_ecodd) mapped at 1:1,000,000 scale.

Tipper, H.W., G.J. Woodsworth and H. Ga
brielse. 1981.
Tectonic Assemblage of the Canadian Cordillera
and Adjacent Parts of the United States of America
. Geological Survey of Canada. Map 1505A.

d r a f t f o r d i s c u s s i o n

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Wahl, H.E., D.B. Fraser, R.C. Harvey and J.B. Maxwell. 1987. Climate of the Yukon Territory.
Environme
nt Canada. Climatological Studies Number 40.


5.

Personal Communications


Walter Fraser, Senior Land Resource Officer, Environmental Health and Soil Quality, Agriculture and
Agri
-
Food Canada. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

John Meikle, Habitat Protection Coordinator,
Habitat Section, Yukon Territorial Government Department
of Environment, Whitehorse, Yukon.



Project Team:

Nancy Steffen, B.Sc.
(Agriculture), A.Ag., For. Tech.,
Senior Soil Scientist,
, Gartner Lee
Ltd.

Karen McKenna, B.Sc. (Geography), Soil Scienti
st, CryoGeographic Consulting.

Marie Gallagher, M.Sc., R.P.Bio., Senior Biologist
/ Project Manager
,
Gartner Lee Ltd.

Crystal Lambert, Adv. GIS Dipl., GIS Analyst / Applications Specialist, Gartner Lee Ltd.





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