Mecatina River

This ecoregion extends across the southern Labrador border with Quebec 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.

Wildlife and Human Activity

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.

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