Gulf of Maine Coastal Plain Maine biophysical regionThe Gulf of Maine Coastal Plain Biophysical Region is part of the Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province and the Lower New England Ecoregion Section. There are 3 Forest Provinces, 6 Ecoregion Sections, and 19 Biophysical Regions in Maine.


Province: Eastern Broadleaf Forest

The Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province has a continental-type climate of cold winters and warm summers. Annual precipitation is greater during summer, water deficits infrequent. Topography is variable, ranging from plains to low hills of low relief along Atlantic coast. Interior areas are high hills to semi-mountainous, parts of which were glaciated. Vegetation is characterized by tall, cold-deciduous broadleaf forests that have a high proportion of mesophytic species.


Ecoregion Section: Lower New England

The Lower New England Section has a landscape combination of broad, hilly plateaus with features including a basin, plain, and ridge. Bedrock geology is varied and complex, consisting of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. Forest vegetation includes oak-hickory, white-red-jack pine, maple-beech-birch, and aspen-birch cover types.


Biophysical Region: Gulf of Maine Coastal Plain

The Gulf of Maine Coastal Plain Biophysical Region is still 83% forested, but is the second smallest subsection, with only 145 thousand forested acres. It has quite a diversity of forest types, with maple-beech-birch being the most prevalent at 32%, followed by white-red-jack pine at 21%.

The top three tree species in this region (based on the stocking of live trees per average forested acre) are:

  1. Red Maple (77 trees per acre)
  2. Eastern White Pine (33 trees per acre)
  3. Eastern Hemlock (26 trees per acre)

This graph shows major tree species/species groups, live tree stocking (trees/acre), and how much they contribute to the overall stocking for the Gulf of Maine Coastal Plain Biophysical Region:

Gulf of Maine Coastal Plan hardwood and softwood species

* All data are based on the Maine Forest Inventory & Analysis, 2015 (United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service)

Check out the other 2 bioregions in the Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province and the Lower New England Ecoregion Section:


To learn more about Maine’s Biophysical Regions, download this comprehensive document from Maine Natural Areas Program (2014):