South Avalon Burin Oceanic Barrens

This ecoregion covers the southern tips of the Avalon and Burin peninsulas. It is characterized by cool summers and short, relatively mild winters. It is also strongly affected by the Atlantic Ocean, and its summers are subjected to high fog frequencies and persistence. The mean annual temperature is around 5.5°C, with a mean summer temperature of 11.5°C and a mean winter temperature of -1°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 1200 mm to 1500 mm.

Dense carpets of moss and lichen, along with low-growing ericaceous shrubs, are common. Dwarf krummholz of balsam fir grows on some upland sites. The ecoregion is composed predominantly of a mixture of sedimentary and volcanic strata. Its elevations rises from sea level to approximately 200 m asl. Uplands have been dissected by stream erosion, and their surfaces are peat-covered. The coastline is rugged and rocky. Inland areas have a rolling terrain of low relief. Wetlands cover more than one quarter of the ecoregion. Wildlife includes caribou, willow ptarmigan, and seabirds. Cape St. Mary's has one of the largest gannet colonies in the world. Fishing and water-oriented recreation are the main land-use activities. Trepassey is the main community.

©2002, Trevor Bell

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