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Soil and Natural Vegetation. CGC1D Fri, Feb 28, 2014. Soil. Soil is a naturally occurring, unconsolidated or loose material on the surface of the earth, capable of supporting life Soil is made up of four components (MOMA):

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Soil and natural vegetation

Soil and Natural Vegetation


Fri, Feb 28, 2014

Soil and natural vegetation

  • Soil is a naturally occurring, unconsolidated or loose material on the surface of the earth, capable of supporting life

  • Soil is made up of four components (MOMA):

    • Minerals- come from a parent material (rock), provides nutrients to plants

    • Organic Material/ Bacteria- decaying materials release nutrients

    • Moisture- dissolves nutrients, decays organic materials

    • Air- roots need air pockets. Created by worms, insects, and small animals that burrow in the soil

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Soil profile
Soil Profile

Rich in organic materials

Dark brown/ black

Mineral and organic laterlighter brown

Where soil is “made”

Natural vegetation
Natural Vegetation

Plants need moisture and heat in order to survive

Natural vegetation refers to those plants that grow without any human interference.

There are 3 main types of natural vegetation in Canada: tundra, forest, and grassland.

Canada is divided into 7 natural vegetation regions:


Far North- above the treeline

shrubs, mosses, lichens, small flowers

Cold, short growing season

Very little precipitation (<400 mm)

Thin soils, permafrost.

Boreal and taiga forest
Boreal and Taiga Forest

to the south of the Tundra

Mostly Coniferous (needle-bearing) trees

Longer growing season than Tundra

More precipitation than Tundra

Grey, shallow, acidic soil.

Mixed forest
Mixed Forest

Transition zone between Boreal and Deciduous forests

Both deciduous and coniferous trees

Active lumber industry

Warm summers, cool winters

Regular, abundant precipitation

Deep, grey-brown topsoil, rich in minerals

Well suited to farming

Disappearing in the southern regiondue to farming, transportationroutes, and urbanization.

Deciduous forest
Deciduous Forest

A very small region in Canada

Found in SW Ontario

Has mostly been cleared for farming and urban development

Long, hot summers, mild winters, lots of rain

Hardwood trees: maple, beech, ash

Dark brown topsoil rich in minerals, most fertile soils in Eastern Canada.


climate is too dry for most species of trees to survive

Some trees along river valleys

Native grasses everywhere

Short-grass prairie: driest areas to the south, unsuitable for most crops. Used for grazing cattle.

Long-grass prairie: increased precipitation, rich black soil

Parkland: transition zone between prairie and boreal forest.

Soil and natural vegetation


Long Grass Prairie

Short Grass Prairie

Cordilleran vegetation
Cordilleran Vegetation

This region has a wide range of soils, temperatures, rainfall, and elevations

Varies from large coniferous forests in wetter locations to grasses and cacti in drier regions.

West coast forest
West Coast Forest

Lush rainforests

Douglas fir, Sitka spruce,

red cedar

Heavy rainfall

Mild climate.


  • Anecozone is an area of the earth’s surface that has a unique combination of plants, wildlife, climate, landforms, and human activities.

  • If you were to overlay or combine the climate, landforms, soil (and vegetation) regions of Canada, you would see patterns emerge resulting in Canada’s 15 terrestrial (land) ecozones