Torngat Mountains

This mountainous ecoregion is located in the northernmost part of Labrador. It is characterized by relatively short, cool, and moist summers and long, cold winters. Coastal ice and fog affect the climate greatly. Mean annual temperature is approximately -6°C, with a mean summer temperature of 4°C and a mean winter temperature of -16.5°C. Mean annual precipitation ranges from 400 mm to 700 mm.

The region has a sparse cover of lichen, moss, grass, and arctic sedge. There are patches of arctic mixed evergreen and deciduous shrubs on sheltered, south-facing valley slopes. There are white birch/willow thickets which form a transition zone between tundra and spruce forests. Poorly drained sites and bogs are dominated by arctic black spruce with mixed evergreen and deciduous shrubs. Rocks in this ecoregion are mainly granite and form steep-sided, rounded mountains with deeply incised valleys and fjords along the coast. Common glacial features such as cirques, deep U-shaped valleys, and fjords are widespread. Permafrost is continuous on the Québec side of the border, and it is extensive but discontinuous on the eastern Atlantic side. Patterned ground and boulder fields are common. The ecoregion provides suitable conditions for small mammals, and seasonal habitat for polar bear and caribou. There are no permanent communities.

©2002, Trevor Bell

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