Home » Regions » North America » Eastern Temperate Forests » Mixed Wood Plains

Mixed Wood Plains

Page contents

To check where a specific point lies, you can look it up in our Ecoregion Locator.

Map Legend & Subregion List

This list will help you navigate the regions in case you have problems with viewing or clicking the interactive map above.

NameColor on MapCEC Code*
North Central Hardwood Forests8.1.4
Driftless Area8.1.5
Southern Michigan/Northern Indiana Drift Plains8.1.6
Northeastern Coastal Zone8.1.7
Northern Allegheny Plateau8.1.3
Erie Drift Plain8.1.10
Acadian Plains and Hills8.1.8
Eastern Great Lakes Lowlands8.1.1
Lake Erie Lowland8.1.2
Maritime Lowlands8.1.9

* This code refers to the CEC's Level 3 ecoregion codes for North America, see here.

About the Mixed Wood Plains

The Mixed Wood Plains, is a level II ecoregion in the U.S. and an ecozone in Canada. This large region covers several discontinuous pieces running from central Minnesota and Wisconsin east through Michigan, Ontario, New York State, and into most of New England. The Great Lakes are a dominant feature in this region, which surrounds the St. Lawrence River and all of Lake Ontario, also bordering much of Lake Erie and parts of lakes Huron and Michigan.

The climate here is a humid continental climate, markedly milder than that farther north and at higher altitudes. The climate is warm enough to allow the breakdown and release of organic matter into the soil, leading to richer soils that are easily used for agriculture.

This region was historically almost completely forested, with some open wetlands. A combination of agriculture, urbanization, and forestry has drastically reduced the forest cover here. There are both mixed (hardwood-coniferous) forests and deciduous forests here.

In Canada this is the most populous ecozone, containing the metro areas of Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. In the U.S. it includes Boston and many smaller cities as well.

To the north, the inland parts of this region border the Mixed Wood Shield, a slightly colder region with poorer soils, and to the southwest, the Temperate Prairies. The portions of this region in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio also border the Central USA Plains, and east of that, the Appalachian Forests. The easternmost part of this region mostly surrounds the Atlantic Highlands, which is found mostly at higher altitudes. Moving south along the east coast, this region borders the Southeastern USA Coastal Plains on the coast, and the Southeastern USA Plains just inland from that.