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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion extends from north of Fort Good Hope on the west side of the Mackenzie River to Wrigley. It is a narrow northern extension of the boreal forest along the east side of the Mackenzie River. The ecoregion is marked by cool summers and very cold winters. The mean annual temperature is approximately -6.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 11.5°C and the mean winter temperature is -24.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 300-400 mm. The ecoregion is classified as having a subhumid high boreal ecoclimate. The ecoregion is a broad, rolling, drift-covered plain lying between Mackenzie and Franklin mountains, into which the Mackenzie River is entrenched for part of its course. Native vegetation consists predominantly of medium to tall, closed stands of black spruce and jack pine with an understory of feathermoss, bog cranberry, blueberry, Labrador tea, and lichens. White spruce, balsam fir, and trembling aspen occur in the warmer, more moist sites in the southern section of the region. Drier sites have more open stands of black spruce and jack pine. Low, closed and open stands of black spruce, ericaceous shrubs, and sphagnum mosses dominate poorly drained, peat-filled depressions. Wetlands cover 25-50% of the ecoregion, and are characteristically peat plateau bogs, and ribbed and horizontal fens. Permafrost is extensive and discontinuous with medium ice content, and is characterized by sparse ice wedges. Dominant soils in the ecoregion are Organic and Turbic Cryosols and Eutric and Dystric Brunisols with some Regosols that have developed on terraced to rolling morainal, alluvial, lacustrine, and organic deposits. Characteristic wildlife includes moose, black bear, beaver, fox, wolf, hare, raven, grouse, and waterfowl. Limited forestry, oil production near Norman Wells, hunting, and trapping are the principal land use activities. The main communities include Norman Wells and Fort Norman. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 1200.

This ecoregion is part of the Taiga Plains ecozone.