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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion takes in the northern tip of Ungava Peninsula, including the Povungnituk Hills in northern Quebec. The mean annual temperature is approximately -8.5°C with a summer mean of 3°C and a winter mean of -20°C. Winter temperatures of -50°C are not uncommon on the plateau. Coastal ice and fog persist for long periods in the summer. The mean annual precipitation ranges 200-300 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. Its short growing season limits vegetative growth, which is characterized by a nearly continuous cover of dwarf tundra vegetation, including dwarf birch, willow, northern Labrador tea, Dryas spp., and Vaccinium spp. Tall dwarf birch, willow, and alder occur on warm sites; wet sites are dominated by willow and sedge. Bedrock geology consists of foliated granite and granitic gneiss. These folded strata form a series of east-west ridges and valleys with a relatively high relief in the west, but a more subdued character in the east where the summit surface of the hills virtually merges with Larch and Sugluk plateaus. In the Povungnituk Hills, the surface is covered by frost-shattered bedrock and glacially derived deposits, including a few eskers and patches of thin till. Raised beaches occur along the coast, covered by late Pleistocene marine incursions. Inland, the undulating surface averages 100 m asl and rises towards the north, where elevations can reach about 520 m asl. Turbic Cryosols developed on loamy marine sediments along the coast and on thin, discontinuous glacial drift deposits inland, are the dominant soils in the ecoregion. Inclusions of Organic Cryosols and a dominant occurrence of rock outcrops are also present. Permafrost is continuous with low ice content. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, wolverine, Arctic hare, fox, polar bear, raptors, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Marine mammals include walrus, seal, and whale. Land uses include subsistence trapping and  hunting, and mineral exploration is ongoing. The main settlements are Salluit and Ivujivik. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 1500.

This ecoregion is part of the Northern Arctic ecozone.