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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion in the central uplands of Baffin Island has a very sparse (up to about 15%) vegetative cover of moss, and mixed low-growing herbs and shrubs such as purple saxifrage, Dryas spp., arctic willow, kobresia, sedge, and arctic poppy. Wet sites can develop up to about 60% cover of wood rush, wire rush, and saxifrage, along with a nearly continuous cover of mosses. The mean annual temperature is approximately -11.5°C, although higher elevations are considerably colder than this. Lower elevations within the ecoregion have a mean summer temperature of 1°C and a mean winter temperature of -23°C. This ecoregion gets more precipitation than do surrounding adjacent ecoregions to the southwest, with mean annual precipitation ranging from 200 mm in the north to 400 mm in the south, and 300-400 mm at the southern tip. This ecoregion is classified as having a high arctic ecoclimate. The general aspect of Baffin Upland is one of a broad, gently warped, old erosion surface, shallowly etched by erosion along joint systems and zones of weakness. Its surface slopes gently to the southwest to an elevation of about 915 m asl near Barnes Ice Cap. Bare bedrock is common, and Turbic Cryosols developed on sparse, thin, colluvial and morainal deposits are the dominant soils. The ecoregion is underlain by continuous permafrost with low ice content. Wildlife includes arctic hare, arctic wolf, arctic fox, and caribou. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 50, although there are no main settlements. Land uses are presently limited to include some subsistence trapping and hunting.

This ecoregion is part of the Northern Arctic ecozone.