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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada

MUSKWA PLATEAU

This ecoregion occurs along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in northeastern British Columbia, spanning the border with the Northwest Territories. Climate is marked by long cold winters and short cool summers. Mean annual temperature is approximately -1°C. Mean summer temperature is 12°C and mean winter temperature is -15°C. Mean annual precipitation ranges 400-500 mm. This ecoregion's forests are characterized mainly by closed, medium to tall stands of lodgepole pine. Poorly drained sites support black spruce and some white spruce. White and black spruce are also the climatic climax species in the ecoregion. The ecoregion is underlain by Cretaceous shales and sandstones with elevations ranging 760-975 m asl. The southern section is a smooth upland, whereas the northern section forms part of the wide Fort Nelson Lowland. Gray Luvisols and Dystric Brunisols with Gleysols developed on loam to clay loam textured glacial till and lacustrine deposits are the dominant soils. Organic Cryosolic soils are common on peat plateau bogs, palsa bogs and some veneer bogs, and 25-50% of the ecoregion is wetland. There is extensive discontinuous permafrost with low to medium ice content, which takes on a sporadic discontinuous pattern in the very north of the ecoregion. Characteristic wildlife includes woodland caribou, moose, lynx, grizzly and black bear, wolf, snowshoe hare, grouse, waterfowl, and some deer and elk. Principal activities include forestry, hunting, trapping, recreation, and tourism. There are no major communities in the ecoregion.

This ecoregion is part of the Taiga Plains ecozone.