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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion occurs on central Banks Island and has a vegetative cover of moss, and mixed low-growing herbs and shrubs such as purple saxifrage, Dryas spp., arctic willow, kobresia, sedge, and arctic poppy. The mean annual temperature is approximately -16°C with a summer mean of 2°C and a winter mean of -30°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 100-200 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a mid-arctic ecoclimate. The terrain of this lowland slopes gently to the southwest and south and is composed of late Proterozoic stratified rocks intruded by gabbro sills that form plateaus capped with flat-lying volcanic rocks. Turbic Cryosols are the dominant soils, and have developed on a variety of smooth, undulating glacial deposits. Permafrost is deep and continuous with high ice content, and abundant ice wedges. Areas of drumlinoid ridges occur on the eastern side of Banks Island; the remainder of the island is largely unglaciated. Wetlands extend over much of the ecoregion, and are characteristically horizontal and low-centre lowland polygon fens with small, elevated peat mound bogs. Marshes are common along the coast and in shallow waters associated with low-lying areas. Characteristic wildlife includes muskox, caribou, arctic hare, arctic fox, snowy owl, raptors, polar bear, seal, whale, seabirds, and waterfowl. Land uses include trapping, hunting, and fishing.

This ecoregion is part of the Northern Arctic ecozone.