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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This region is composed of the gently undulating, or sloping lands associated with the Peace River and its major tributaries. The ecoregion is characterized by a unique climate, marked by warmer summers than the surrounding areas. The mean annual temperature is 0.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 13°C and the mean winter temperature is -14°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 350-600 mm. The ecoregion is classified as having a subhumid low boreal ecoclimate. It forms part of the extensive deciduous forest belt that extends from southeastern Manitoba to north-central Alberta. A closed cover of tall trembling aspen with secondary quantities of balsam poplar, an understory of mixed herbs, and tall shrubs is the predominant vegetation. White spruce and balsam fir are the climax species but are not well represented because of fires. Poorly drained sites are usually covered with sedges, willow, some black spruce, and tamarack. There are some areas of more open parkland vegetation associated with a warmer climate and often saline soils. The rivers are incised up to 300 m in the foothills of northeastern British Columbia, where the elevation of the valleys is about 750 m asl, and drop gradually to the Slave Lowland at an elevation of about 300 m asl. Clayey lacustrine deposits are the predominant parent material, along with some fine-textured tills and significant areas of sandy fluvial deposits. Gray Luvisols are the predominant soil type, but the abundant vegetative understory and common restricted drainage have resulted in an abundance of Dark Gray Luvisols and Solods with some Chernozemic soils in the Alberta portion of the ecoregion. The region also provides habitat for white-tailed deer, black bear, moose, beaver, ruffed grouse, coyote, rabbit, and waterfowl. There is also some oil and gas activity, forestry, and hunting. About 45% of the area is farmland with annual small grains and grasses dominating. The major communities include Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Grande Prairie, Fairview, and High Level. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 148 000.

This ecoregion is part of the Boreal Plains ecozone.