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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Southwest Nova represents the natural region of southwestern Nova Scotia. This encompasses the five counties: Queens, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby and Annapolis. The biosphere reserve comprises major landscapes of the province, which exist in a near-pristine condition with intact ecosystem structure, processes and functions. Located in the boreal needleleaf forest biogeographical region, it includes rolling plains, river plains, glacial plains, hills, drumlins and coastal cliffs. As a result of its unique southerly position in the Maritimes, the region contains significant disjunctive populations of Atlantic coastal Plain plant species, Blandings turtle (Emydoidea blandingi), ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus) and southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans).
Cultural heritage resources in the area depict the history of Mi’kmaq use of the lands and waters of the area for travel, sustenance, medicine and trade. Several significant archaeological sites are preserved throughout the region. About 99,500 people live mostly in the transition zone of the biosphere reserve (Statistics Canada 2001 census). The traditional economic uses of the region include forestry, mixed agriculture, near-shore coastal fisheries, professional backcountry guiding for recreational angling and hunting, as well as mineral prospecting and mining. The biosphere reserve will promote and encourage experimentation with traditional and contemporary resource management and will identify opportunities for their enhancement.
  Major ecosystem type   Boreal needleleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Natural Landscapes described as follows: rolling plain characterized by red spruce-white pine-eastern hemlock (red oak) and black spruce-larch; Shelburne River Plain dominated by semi-barren terrain and black spruce-white pine; Roseway River Glacial Plain characterized by red/black spruce-white pine-eastern hemlock; Lake Rossignol Hills with sugar maple-yellow birch-American beech and spruce-hemlock-white pine; LaHave Drumlins characterized by sugar maple-yellow birch-beech and red spruce-eastern hemlock-white pine; Sable River Basin Natural Landscape dominated by black/red spruce-white pine-eastern hemlock-balsam fir and black spruce-larch; North Ridge including red spruce-yellow birch-balsam fir; Annapolis Valley characterized by red spruce-eastern hemlock-red pine; St. Marys Coastal Cliffs dominated by white spruce-black spruce-balsam fir; Sissiboo Low Hills including mixed hardwoods and red spruce-eastern hemlock; Tusket River Drumlins with red spruce-white pine-eastern hemlock and mixed hardwoods; Tusket Islands characterized by white spruce-balsam fir; Shelburne Headlands (coastal environment composed of long bays, beaches, and spits) including white spruce-balsam fir; agroecosystems (small scale mixed agriculture); forestry systems; blueberry fields
  Location   44°13'N; 65°50'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   1,546,374
  Core area(s)   141,900
  Buffer zone(s)   27,474
  Transition area(s) when given   1,377,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +190
  Year designated   2001
  Administrative authorities   Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association (SNBRA)
  Brief description   Long term air and water quality research and monitoring
LRTAP study site for Long Range Transport of Atmospheric Pollutants
Ecological research and monitoring
SI/MAB long-term forest monitoring plots in core, buffer and transition areas
Research and monitoring with emphasis on interrelationships between the projects and their results, thereby enhancing the ability to carry out relational analysis and gap identification
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Acidic deposition/Acid rain, air quality, hydrology, monitoring/methodologies, pollution, pollutants.
  Biodiversity   Biodiversity, ecology, forest systems, methodologies.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Monitoring/methodologies.
  Contact address   Bob Maher
Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve
NSCC Annapolis Valley Campus, 295 Commercial St., Middleton
B0S 1M0 Nova Scotia
  Telephone   (1.902) 825 5477
  Fax   (1.902) 825 5479
  Web site

Last updated: 26/02/2007

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