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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


The Liard Basin ecoregion spans the British Columbia-Yukon boundary to incorporate the Liard Plain, a broad, rolling, low-lying area mantled with glacial drift and outwash deposits in which the Liard River is entrenched. The mean annual temperature for the area is approximately -3°C with a summer mean of 11°C and a winter mean of -18.5°C. Annual precipitation is 350-450 mm. The ecoregion is characterized by extensive stands of boreal forest composed of lodgepole pine, white and black spruce, and aspen. Dry sites support lodgepole pine; moist sites have black spruce and larch with Labrador tea, horsetail, and moss. The ecoregion is underlain by Carboniferous Palaeozoic limestone and Cretaceous shale and lies 620-930 m asl. Luvisolic soils are associated with the productive upland boreal forests of the region. Cumulic Regosols support productive stands of white spruce along the floodplain of the Liard River and its larger tributaries. Eutric and Dystric Brunisols exist on coarse-textured fluvioglacial deposits. Permafrost is scattered, confined mainly to lower north-facing slopes and sphagnum bogs. Big game hunting, outfitting, and trapping are other uses of land in this region. Characteristic wildlife includes moose, black bear, wood bison, wolf, beaver, muskrat, snowshoe hare, waterfowl, crane, ruffed grouse, and other birds. Local sawlog forestry and mining are main industrial land uses. There is some recreational use of the major lakes and rivers in the ecoregion. Watson Lake is the main community. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 1400.

This ecoregion is part of the Boreal Cordillera ecozone.