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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion occurs between the Dease and McTavish arms at the northeast corner of Great Bear Lake. It is marked by cool summers and very cold winters. The mean annual temperature is approximately -7.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 10°C and the mean winter temperature is -25°C. The mean annual precipitation is 200-300 mm. The ecoregion is classified as having a high subarctic ecoclimate. The latitudinal limits of tree growth are reached along its eastern boundary. 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. Low shrub tundra consisting of dwarf birch and willow is also common, and poorly drained sites usually support tussocks of sedge, cottongrass, and sphagnum moss. Wetlands cover approximately 25% of the ecoregion, and are characteristically peat plateau bogs, and ribbed and horizontal fens. The ecoregion also includes a small portion of Great Bear Plain that is largely composed of Cretaceous shale. The ecoregion is covered by undulating glacial drift, raised beaches, and outwash deposits. Turbic Cryosols with Static and Organic Cryosols developed on loamy morainal and organic deposits are the dominant soils. Permafrost is continuous with low to moderate ice content, and is characterized by sparse ice wedges. Brunisolic soils have developed on unfrozen materials. Characteristic wildlife includes moose, black bear, beaver, fox, wolf, snowshoe hare, raven, and spruce grouse. Land uses include hunting, trapping, and fishing.

This ecoregion is part of the Taiga Plains ecozone.