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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion encompasses the undulating lowlands of north-central Alberta and forms a portion of the continuous mid-boreal mixed forest extending from northwestern Ontario to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The climate is characterized by cool summers and long, cold winters. The mean annual temperature is approximately 0.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 13.5°C and the mean winter temperature is -13.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 350-500 mm. The ecoregion is classified as having a subhumid mid-boreal ecoclimate. Medium to tall, closed stands of trembling aspen and balsam poplar with white and black spruce, and balsam fir, occurring in late successional stages, are most abundant. Cold and poorly drained fens and bogs are covered with tamarack and black spruce. Formed on Mesozoic and Palaeozoic sediments, the surface of this region is predominantly a gently undulating lowland plain covered with thick, loamy glacial till, clayey lacustrine, sandy fluvioglacial, and organic deposits. This low-relief plain is rather poorly drained, and organic materials cover about 50% of the area. Organic soils are dominant in the region. Gleysolic and Gray Luvisolic soils are significant inclusions. The whole of the region slopes gently and drains northward via the Athabasca and Wabasca rivers within the region. Characteristic wildlife includes moose, black bear, wolf, lynx, snowshoe hare, waterfowl, ruffed grouse, and other birds. Land uses include forestry, water-oriented recreation, and wildlife hunting and trapping, and some oil and gas exploration in the western part. Fort McMurray is the main community. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 38 700.

This ecoregion is part of the Boreal Plains ecozone.