Kingurutik/Fraser Rivers

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

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