This ecoregion extends across the southern Labrador border with Québec and runs northwest to
the southern boundary of the Smallwood Reservoir. There are two small, separate areas which lie
north and west of Lake Melville. It can be classified as low subarctic forest. The mean annual
temperature is around -1°C, but it reaches between -2°C and -3°C in the areas
west and north of Lake Melville. The mean summer temperature is 10°C, while the mean winter
temperature is -13°C. Mean annual precipitation ranges from 800 mm in the north to 1000 mm
in the south. The growing season is between 120 and 140 days long.
The primary vegetation includes areas of black spruce with an understory of Labrador tea,
dwarf birch, lichens, and mosses. The forests are in transition with the tundra and alpine
tundra vegetative communities in the north, and the typical coniferous boreal forests in the
south. Black spruce is the climatic climax species, while balsam fir is much rarer. Trembling
aspen reaches its northern limit in this ecoregion. The topography is rough and undulating and
rises up to approximately 600 m asl. Eskers and river terraces contain fluvioglacial deposits.
Permafrost exists in isolated patches, primarily in wetland areas. The region is quite suitable
for black bear, lynx, red fox, caribou, moose, small mammals, waterfowl, and other birds. Land
use activities include trapping, hunting, and outdoor recreation. The main community in the
ecoregion is Churchill Falls.
©2002, Trevor Bell