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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion takes in the hilly highlands surrounding the George River, which drains into Ungava Bay in northeastern Quebec. The mean annual temperature is approximately -5°C. The mean summer temperature is 5.5°C and the mean winter temperature is -15.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 400 mm in the north to 700 mm in the south. The ecoregion is classified as having a mid to high subarctic ecoclimate. The predominant vegetation consists of open (approximately 25% tree cover), 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 general aspect of this ecoregion is that of a broken old erosion surface composed of massive Archean granites, granitic gneiss, and acidic intrusives. Glaciation has resulted in a rolling, morainal upland. Hummocky, drumlinized upper surfaces are covered by discontinuous, bouldery, sandy morainal veneers, and peat accumulations partly fill depressions. In the north of the ecoregion, below the marine submergence limit, the upper sandy layer is often reworked. In the south, deep sandy terraces occur in the valleys. Bare acidic rock outcrops are prominent in this ecoregion, and significant soil inclusions are Lithic Regosols, Dystric Brunisols, Humo-Ferric Podzols, and Turbic and Organic Cryosols. Permafrost is extensive and discontinuous with low to medium ice content and sparse ice wedges, and becomes more continuous along the western edge of the ecoregion. This ecoregion provides important habitat for caribou and small mammals. Hunting, trapping, and outdoor recreation are important land use activities. The main community is Kangiqsualujjuaq. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 500.

This ecoregion is part of the Taiga Shield ecozone.