Maps of Canada's forest attributes for 2001 and 2011

This data publication contains two collections of raster maps of forest attributes across Canada, the first collection for year 2001, and the second for year 2011. The 2001 collection is actually an improved version of an earlier set of maps produced also for year 2001 (Beaudoin et al 2014, DOI: that is itself available through the web site “”. Each collection contains 93 maps of forest attributes: four land cover classes, 11 continuous stand-level structure variables such as age, volume, biomass and height, and 78 continuous values of percent composition for tree species or genus. The mapping was done at a spatial resolution of 250m along the MODIS grid. Briefly the method uses forest polygon information from the first version of photoplots database from Canada’s National Forest Inventory as reference data, and the non-parametric k-nearest neighbors procedure (kNN) to create the raster maps of forest attributes. The approach uses a set of 20 predictive variables that include MODIS spectral reflectance data, as well as topographic and climate data. Estimates are carried out on target pixels across all Canada treed landmass that are stratified as either forest or non-forest with 25% forest cover used as a threshold. Forest cover information was extracted from the global forest cover product of Hansen et al (2013) (DOI:
The mapping methodology and resultant datasets were intended to address the discontinuities across provincial borders created by their large differences in forest inventory standards. Analysis of residuals has failed to reveal residual discontinuities across provincial boundaries in the current raster dataset, meaning that our goal of providing discontinuity-free maps has been reached. The dataset was developed specifically to address strategic issues related to phenomena that span multiple provinces such as fire risk, insect spread and drought. In addition, the use of the kNN approach results in the maintenance of a realistic covariance structure among the different variable maps, an important property when the data are extracted to be used in models of ecosystem processes. For example, within each pixel, the composition values of all tree species add to 100%.
Details on the product development and validation can be found in the following publication:
Beaudoin, A., Bernier, P.Y., Villemaire, P., Guindon, L., Guo, X.-J. 2017. Tracking forest attributes across Canada between 2001 and 2011 using a kNN mapping approach applied to MODIS imagery, Canadian Journal of Forest Research 48: 85–93. DOI:
Please cite this dataset as:
Beaudoin A, Bernier PY, Villemaire P, Guindon L, Guo XJ. 2017. Species composition, forest properties and land cover types across Canada’s forests at 250m resolution for 2001 and 2011. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Quebec, Canada.
* This dataset contains these NFI forest attributes:


landbase vegetated,
landbase non-vegetated,
landcover treed,
landcover non-treed


total above ground biomass,
tree branches biomass,
tree foliage biomass,
stem bark biomass,
stem wood biomass,
total dead trees biomass,
stand age,
crown closure,
tree stand heigth,
merchantable volume,
total volume


abies amabilis (amabilis fir),
abies balsamea (balsam fir),
abies lasiocarpa (subalpine fir),
abies spp. (unidentified fir),
acer macrophyllum (bigleaf maple),
acer negundo (manitoba maple, box-elder),
acer pensylvanicum (striped maple),
acer rubrum (red maple),
acer saccharinum (silver maple),
acer saccharum (sugar maple),
acer spicatum (mountain maple),
acer spp. (unidentified maple),
alnus rubra (red alder),
alnus spp. (unidentified alder),
arbutus menziesii (arbutus),
betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch),
betula papyrifera (white birch),
betula populifolia (gray birch),
betula spp. (unidentified birch),
carpinus caroliniana (blue-beech),
carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory),
chamaecyparis nootkatensis (yellow-cedar),
fagus grandifolia (american beech),
fraxinus americana (white ash),
fraxinus nigra (black ash),
fraxinus pennsylvanica (red ash),
juglans cinerea (butternut),
juglans nigra (black walnut),
juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar),
larix laricina (tamarack),
larix lyallii (subalpine larch),
larix occidentalis (western larch),
larix spp. (unidentified larch),
malus spp. (unidentified apple),
ostrya virginiana (ironwood, hop-hornbeam),
picea abies (norway spruce),
picea engelmannii (engelmann spruce),
picea glauca (white spruce),
picea mariana (black spruce),
picea rubens (red spruce),
picea sitchensis (sitka spruce),
picea spp. (unidentified spruce),
pinus albicaulis (whitebark pine),
pinus banksiana (jack pine),
pinus contorta (lodgepole pine),
pinus monticola (western white pine),
pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine),
pinus resinosa (red pine),
pinus spp. (unidentified pine),
pinus strobus (eastern white pine),
pinus sylvestris (scots pine),
populus balsamifera (balsam poplar),
populus grandidentata (largetooth aspen),
populus spp. (unidentified poplar),
populus tremuloides (trembling aspen),
populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood),
prunus pensylvanica (pin cherry),
prunus serotina (black cherry),
pseudotsuga menziesii (douglas-fir),
quercus alba (white oak),
quercus macrocarpa (bur oak),
quercus rubra (red oak),
quercus spp. (unidentified oak),
salix spp. (unidentified willow),
sorbus americana (american mountain-ash),
thuja occidentalis (eastern white-cedar),
thuja plicata (western redcedar),
tilia americana (basswood),
tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock),
tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock),
tsuga mertensiana (mountain hemlock),
tsuga spp. (unidentified hemlock),
ulmus americana (white elm),
unidentified needleaf,
unidentified broadleaf,
broadleaf species,
needleaf species,
unknown species

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Last Updated July 22, 2019, 06:39 (CDT)
Created July 21, 2019, 03:55 (CDT)