Friday, April 6, 2007

Beyond the Zone

Going Beyond the Zones

An internet-based project organized by Natural Resources Canada

Canada's plant hardiness map map was originally developed in the 1960's for trees and shrubs. It has also been used for perennials but it was not originally developed for that purpose.

Their aim is to go beyond a single general map and develop potential range maps for individual species of trees, shrubs and perennial flowers. The approach is to develop a climatic profile for each plant using new continent-wide climate models. These climatic profiles will be mapped giving an indication of the possible range of each species.

To do this they need participation from experts and the public all over Canada, and ideally the United States as well. Contributors need to identify what plants, from a comprehensive list, survive at their location. Once enough data are entered to develop a climatic profile the range maps will be generated. These range maps will be continually updated as more data are submitted.

Contributions will be visible on interactive web maps and
will help define the climatic and geographic limits of plants.