Reflections on the biogeoclimatic approach to ecosystem classification of forested landscape.

  • Karel Klinka Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
  • Han Y.H. Chen Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5E1.
Keywords: Ecosystem classification, biogeoclimatic, British Columbia, climate, vegetation, site quality, management decisions.


The biogeoclimatic approach to ecosystem classification is unique in that it defines, albeit arbitrarily, an ecosystem, and draws from several of the European and North American schools of vegetation and environment classifications. Undisputedly, the classification has provided a predictive tool for foresters in British Columbia and has given impetus for developing similar classifications elsewhere. The aim of this classification system is to organize forest ecosystems according to relationships in climate, vegetation, site quality, and time. The system is vegetation driven and features three independent, but connected classifications: zonal, vegetation, and site. Site classification is a primary tool used for identifying quality of forest sites. Furthermore, it provides a framework for accumulated, site-specific knowledge about ecological characteristics of plant species, sites, and ecosystems. As a result, the site classification supports a variety of stand - and forest-level decisions as well as forest productivity research.
How to Cite
Klinka, K. and Chen, H. Y. (2009) “Reflections on the biogeoclimatic approach to ecosystem classification of forested landscape.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 21July2024).