Minnesota’s four biomes

April 12, 2007 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

Minnesota is at the center of four biomes or ecological province, or biomes.  The four Minnesota biomes are as follows:

Northeastern Minnesota is dominated by the Laurentian Mixed Forest, which for many is synonymous with the north woods or boreal forest.  The Laurentian Mixed Forest province is dominated by aspen, pine, spruce, and fir, with pockets of northern hardwoods (generally caused by climatic variation).  You can find much more information about the common species and landforms of this biome at the Minnesota DNR’s Laurentian Mixed Forest page.
Map of four MN biomes
The Eastern Broadleaf Forest province runs in a narrow band through the center of the state.  As the name suggests, you’ll find fewer conifers in this area and more hardwoods like oaks, hickories, maples, and basswood.  This province contains Minnesota’s famous Big Woods community before extensive settlement and development.  You can find much more information about the common species and landforms of this biome at the Minnesota DNR’s Eastern Broadleaf Forest page.

The Prairie Parkland province is in southern and western Minnesota.  Once dominated by native prairie, this province now includes some of Minnesota’s most productive agricultural land.  A few remnants of the prairie still exist, primarily in state parks and other protected areas.  You can read much more at the Minnesota DNR’s Prairie Parkland page.

Finally, the Tallgrass Aspen Parklands province extends into northwestern Minnesota from the north.  The Tallgrass Aspen Parklands are characterized by an open aspen savanna with tallgrass prairie vegetation mixed in.  You can read much more at the Minnesota DNR’s Tallgrass Aspen Parklands page.

For more information:

The Minnesota DNR’s Ecological Classification System site has excellent resources on the sections, subsections, and land type associations within each biome.

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News and information of interest to Minnesota woodland owners. Sister site to MyMinnesotaWoods.org.

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