Why would the forest near Owen Sound be different from one near Fort Erie, even though they are in the same biome?

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The answer to this question depends on distinguishing the concept of “biome” from other concepts that also relate to the environment: ecosystem, ecozone, ecoregion, and ecodistrict. A biome is a type of environment that has both many common characteristics and considerable variation within it. The communities mentioned in the question, Owen Sound and Fort Erie, are both located in Ontario, Canada. They are about 240 kilometers or 150 miles apart.

An ecosystem is characterized by specific features, including geology and climate. Ecosystems that share such features are set apart from other units with different features. A significant aspect of the concept is the interactions among the components, which tend to occur in regular, predictable patterns. The spatial locations may be classified at different levels; from large to small, these are the ecozone, ecoregion, and ecodistrict. The ecoregions of Ontario, which are identified mainly by “sub-continental climatic regimes… [and] bedrock geology,” were originally identified in the 1950s.

In the case of these two communities, there are several significant distinctions that influence the forests around them. One is the presence and effect of different bodies of water. Owen Sound is positioned between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, while Fort Erie is located on the Niagara River, directly above Niagara Falls. Another factor is latitude, with Owen Sound being farther north.

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