Northern Ontario Plant Database
Geographic Area Covered by the NOPD
Northern Ontario, as traditionally defined, includes those areas north and west of the French River, Lake Nipissing, and the Mattawa River (Fig. 1). Using this definition, northern Ontario encompasses, from west to east, the Districts of Kenora, Rainy River, Thunder Bay, Cochrane, Algoma, Sudbury, Manitoulin, Timiskaming, and the northern half of Nipissing District. Politically, northern Ontario includes all of Nipissing District and the other districts mentioned above, plus the District of Parry Sound. For a more indepth explanation of the various definitions of northern Ontario, see this link on the Geography of Nothern Ontario from Laurentian University.
Fig. 1. Geographic boundaries of northern Ontario, traditionally defined as those lands north of the French and Mattawa Rivers, and Lake Nipissing.
For those herbaria in northern Ontario with smaller collections (less than 20,000 specimens), data from all of their collections has been input, including specimens from outside the geographical boundaries of northern Ontario. For larger herbaria, specifically Lakehead and Laurentian Universities, only specimens from northern Ontario districts have been entered in the database due to time and funding constraints of the grant. Additional funding will be sought to enable the entire herbarium collections of Lakehead and Laurentian Universities to be included in the NOPD in the future. Similarly, only northern Ontario specimens from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will be added to our database at this time.
The goal of the NOPD is two-parted:
Therefore, which definition of northern Ontario we follow is not terribly important since all of the universities and major government herbaria include specimens outside of the geographical boundaries of everyone's definition of northern Ontario.