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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion includes Minto Lake, the Rivière aux Feuilles plateau and valley, and the Lac à l'Eau Claire plateau from Hudson Bay to near Fort-Chimo on the Koksoak River in northern Quebec. The mean annual temperature is approximately -6°C. The mean summer temperature is 6°C and the mean winter temperature is -18°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges from north to south 475-650 mm. The ecoregion is classified as having a mid to 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, consisting of dwarf birch and willow, is also common. The ecoregion's northern boundary is where the limit of trees is reached in Quebec. This ecoregion includes the south-central section of Larch Plateau and Richmond Hills. Larch Plateau has a hummocky to undulating surface with elevations that reach about 500 m asl. The generally hummocky surface includes highlands in the western part of the ecoregion, where cuestas dip steeply into Hudson Bay. Coastal areas near Hudson Bay are covered by postglacial marine sediments. Massive Archean granites and gneisses are widely exposed, and thin, discontinuous veneers of glacial drift are common over most of the ecoregion's surface. Richmond Hills are mainly east-facing cuestas of Proterozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks. A large portion of the ecoregion drains eastward to Ungava Bay via the Du Gué and Mélèzes rivers, as well as westward to Hudson Bay by Petite rivière de la Baleine. Small and generally shallow lakes are numerous and cover about 20% of the ecoregion. Permafrost is extensive and discontinuous with low to medium ice content in the northern two-thirds of the ecoregion, and sporadic discontinuous in the southern one-third. The ecoregion has an undulating surface with elevations ranging 100-300 m asl. Local relief rarely exceeds 30 m. Areas near Hudson Bay on its west side are covered by postglacial marine sediments. Closer to Ungava Bay, surficial deposits include palsa bogs. A large portion of the region drains eastward to Ungava Bay via Rivière aux Feuilles. Turbic Cryosolic and Dystric Brunisolic soils with significant inclusions of Humo-Ferric Podzols, Organic Cryosols, and bare rock outcroppings are dominant in the region. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, wolverine, snowshoe hare, fox, wolf, coyote, black bear, and waterfowl. Land uses are limited to wildlife trapping, hunting, and recreation. The total population is approximately 300.

This ecoregion is part of the Taiga Shield ecozone.