Home | Ecozones | Boreal Plains
Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion spans the British Columbia-Alberta boundary north of the Peace River district. The climate is characterized by cool, short summers and cold winters with severe temperatures moderated by frequent chinooks. The mean annual temperature is approximately -0.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 13°C and the mean winter temperature is -17.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 400-600 mm. Permafrost is limited to isolated patches along the northern boundary of the ecoregion. It represents a transition between boreal and cordilleran vegetation which occurs on the lower slopes of the Rocky Mountains and the western edge of the Alberta Plain. The boreal forest has a mixture of lodgepole pine, which may dominate at higher elevations. White spruce and fir are also common species in the uplands areas, whereas black spruce communities may dominate in the poorly drained valleys. Bedrock materials are composed of Cretaceous sandstone and shale strata, which are an extension of the Alberta Plateau out from the Rocky Mountains. The ecoregion is a dissected upland with an elevation range of 550-1050 m asl. There are steep slopes, some rolling plateau remnants, and broad, gently undulating valleys. A moderately fine-textured till covers most of the area with some clayey lacustrine deposits in the valleys, which may have over 50% of the area covered with organic soils. Fibrisols and Mesisols occur on bog blankets, and Gray Luvisols occur on rolling, moderately to steeply sloping, loamy morainal deposits, which are dominant in the region. Wildlife in the region includes moose, deer, elk, woodland caribou, black bear, beaver, mink, wolf, marten, hare, and spruce grouse. This ecoregion supports a forestry industry, oil and gas exploration, and hunting. Some agriculture, limited to forage production and short-season cereal grains, is present on the southern edge. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 5100.

This ecoregion is part of the Boreal Plains ecozone.