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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion occurs in the relatively subdued topography of the Horton and Hornaday river plains. The mean annual temperature is approximately -11°C with a summer mean of 5°C and a winter mean of -26°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 200-300 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. Shrub tundra vegetation forms a nearly continuous cover, consisting of 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 sphagnum moss and sedge. Much of the ecoregion is underlain by nearly flat-lying, Paleozoic carbonates and late Proterozoic sediments. The landscape surface reaches elevations of 365-610 m asl, the higher parts being in the south. The western portion of the region is rocky where exposed bedrock outcroppings are common. Eastern sections are covered by rolling to undulating glacial drift. With few exceptions, lakes are small and scattered. Streams gather size northward and become entrenched 60-120 m below the surface. Turbic Cryosols developed on rolling glacial moraine are the dominant soils, and are underlain by continuous permafrost with medium to high ice content in the form of ice wedges. The ecoregion is home to the barren-ground caribou (Bluenose herd). Other wildlife includes moose, grizzly bear, snowshoe hare, red fox, wolf, and a variety of migratory waterfowl. Land uses include trapping, hunting and fishing.

This ecoregion is part of the Southern Arctic ecozone.