Book SectionsTable of Contents
The Problem Puddle Power Frog-Friendly Backyard Why are we concerned about amphibians?
Wetlands - function/type Wetland issues
How to help amphibians
Community Green Plans
Historical development The bioregion Changing landscapes and protected areas I
Changing landscapes and protected areas II Restoring a balance
Wetland issuesThe Bioregion
It is local soils, climate and changes caused by historical settlement that determine what plants and animals define the ecosystems (relationships of plants and animals to each other and to their physical environment) in your area. We refer to larger assemblages of ecosystems as bioregions. The bioregion is probably the largest ecological unit that we can fully under stand, and that has components that we can manipulate or influence. The bioregion is defined by some geological feature like a large river boundary or height of land. In the case of the Greater Toronto Area and other metropolitan centres across Ontario, the historical and ecological impacts of a large human population also determine the bioregion. The bioregion may be made up of many watersheds but these will have their origin along the same height of land and will flow into the same lake. The shape of the landforms, the natural boundaries and the drainage affect the settlement patterns of the area. People and their environments evolve together. The diversity and arrangement of habitats (habitat mosaics) determine the species that share your community landscape.
Our link with global ecology begins with the natural history of our own backyard. However, our lack of understanding of the ecology of even our own backyard isolates us physically and spiritually from local nature. Although we can deter mine the quality of habitat in our own backyards, the collection of backyards determines the quality of habitat, and ultimately the health of the local community. Our bioregions flow into each other to give us life zones or larger regional units that are linked across Canada. Of course the larger regional ecological units which make up the natural history zones across Canada are part of the global ecosystem. As you can see, individual action at the community level actually determines and contributes to the health of our global ecosystem.
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