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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada

SOUTHAMPTON ISLAND PLAIN

This ecoregion includes the southern portion of Southampton Island as well as Coats and Mansel islands in the mouth of Hudson Bay. The mean annual temperature is approximately -11°C with a summer mean of 3°C and a winter mean of -24.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 200-300 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. It is characterized by a nearly continuous cover of low arctic shrub tundra vegetation, consisting of dwarf birch, willow, northern Labrador tea, Dryas spp., and Vaccinium spp.; wet sites are dominated by willow, sedge, and moss. The region is composed of the partly submerged blanket of flat-lying Palaeozoic carbonate rocks and is generally less than 90 m asl in elevation. Bedrock outcrops are common. Static and Turbic Cryosols developed on level to undulating morainal and marine deposits are the dominant soils. The maritime influence is limited to the late summer and early fall. Coastal ice and fog persist for long periods in the summer when the sea ice is absent. The ecoregion is underlain by continuous permafrost with medium ice content composed of ice wedges. Characteristic wildlife includes polar bear, arctic hare, fox, wolf, weasel, wolverine, ermine, caribou, raptors, rock ptarmigan, gulls, seabirds, waterfowl, seal, walrus, and whale. Land uses include trapping, hunting, and fishing. Coral Harbour is the largest settlement. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 600.

This ecoregion is part of the Southern Arctic ecozone.