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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion is composed of the southern two-thirds of the distinctive Mackenzie River delta. The ecoregion is marked by very cold winters and cool summers. The mean annual temperature is approximately -9.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 8.5°C and the mean winter temperature is -26.5°C. Mean annual precipitation ranges from 200 mm to less than 275 mm. The ecoregion is classified as having a high subarctic ecoclimate. The predominant vegetation consists of open, very stunted stands of black spruce and tamarack with secondary quantities of white spruce, and a ground cover of dwarf birch, willow, ericaceous shrubs, cottongrass, lichen, and moss. Poorly drained sites usually support tussocks of sedge, cottongrass, and sphagnum moss. Low shrub tundra, usually dwarf birch and willow, is also common. The delta is a complex area of peat-covered deltas and fluvial marine deposits. The present delta is remarkable for its multitude of lakes and channels. Wetlands extend over 50% of the ecoregion, and are characteristically polygonal peat plateau bogs with ribbed fens. Regosolic Static and Gleysolic Static Cryosols with Organic Cryosols developed on level fluvioglacial, organic, and marine deposits are the dominant soils. Extensive discontinuous permafrost with low to medium ice content is prevalent throughout the ecoregion, and is characterized by sparse ice wedges. Characteristic wildlife includes muskrat, beaver, mink, and waterfowl. Land uses are limited to trapping, hunting, recreation, and tourism. Major communities include Aklavik and Inuvik. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 4000.

This ecoregion is part of the Taiga Plains ecozone.