This ecoregion takes in several other mountainous outcrops, including the Mealy Mountains, south
of Lake Melville. It also includes the southern continental tundra covering the George Plateau. It
can be classified as high subarctic tundra. The climate is characterized by short cool summers and
long, very cold winters. For example, the mean summer temperature is 6.5°C, while the mean
winter temperature is -15°C. The mean annual temperature is around -4°C. Mean annual
precipitation varies from 700 mm in the east to 1000 mm in the west.
The growing season runs from 80 to 100 days. Permafrost is extensive and discontinuous in the
north, while being sporadic and discontinuous in the south. Elevation ranges from 630 m to
1000 m. The higher areas are dissected by the upper reaches of fjords and are composed of bare
rock and tundra, along with alpine heath of lichens, mosses, and sedges. Depressions, where snow
accumulates and moisture exists for the entire growing season, have a continuous vegetation
cover. White birch/willow thickets mark transition between tundra and open spruce forests. On
bogs and poorly drained sites, dwarf black spruce, dwarf mixed evergreen, shrubs, and moss are
dominant. Caribou, small mammals, waterfowl, and other birds have developed habitats in this
ecoregion. Hunting, trapping, and recreation are common activities.
©2002, Trevor Bell