Northern Canadian Shield taiga

Northern Canadian Shield taiga
Taiga and bedrock in Yellowknife.jpg
Northern Canadian Shield taiga map.svg
BiomeBoreal forests/taiga
Area613,827 km2 (237,000 sq mi)
ProvinceAlberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Saskatchewan
Coordinates60°00′N 100°00′W / 60.0°N 100.0°W / 60.0; -100.0Coordinates: 60°00′N 100°00′W / 60.0°N 100.0°W / 60.0; -100.0
Conservation statusRelatively Stable/Intact[1]

Northern Canadian Shield taiga is a taiga ecoregion located in northern Canada, stretching from Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories to Hudson Bay in eastern Nunavut. The region supports conifer forests to its northern edge, where the territory grades into tundra. The open forest in this transition zone is characterized by widely scattered, stunted stands of black spruce (Picea mariana) and tamarack (Larix laricina), with some white spruce (Picea glauca). The ecoregion lies over the northwestern extent of the Canadian Shield.[1] [2] [3] [4]

Location and Description

The terrain is broad, sloping uplands reaching to 701 metres (2,300 ft) in elevation,[2] resting on Archean rocks. There are many lakes, with drainage trending towards Great Slave Lake. Permafrost is discontinuous to continuous.[1]


The climate of the ecoregion is Subarctic climate, without dry season (Köppen climate classification Subartic climate (Dfc)). This climate is characterized by mild summers (only 1-3 months above 10 °C (50.0 °F)) and cold, snowy winters (coldest month below −3 °C (26.6 °F)).[5][6] Precipitation averages 200 - 400 mm/year.[1]

Flora and fauna

The ground cover in the ecoregion is 33% herbaceous cover, 15% shrubs, 19% open forest, 15% closed forest. Water bodies cover 18% of the region.[2] The characteristic trees are black spruce (Picea mariana), tamarack (Larix laricina), and white spruce (Picea glauca). Ground cover includes extensive dwarf birch (Betula), ericaceous shrubs (Ericaceae), cottongrass (Eriophorum), lichen and moss.[1] The vegetation is relatively undisturbed by human activity, with 90-95% of the region intact.[1]

Protected areas

Approximately 8% of the ecoregion is in an officially protected area, including:

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Northern Canadian Shield taiga - Ecoregions - WWF".
  2. ^ a b c "Northern Canadian Shield taiga". Digital Observatory for Protected Areas. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  3. ^ "Northern Canadian Shield taiga". The Encyclopedia of Earth. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  4. ^ "Map of Ecoregions 2017". Resolve, using WWF data. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  5. ^ Kottek, M., J. Grieser, C. Beck, B. Rudolf, and F. Rubel, 2006. "World Map of Koppen-Geiger Climate Classification Updated" (PDF). Gebrüder Borntraeger 2006. Retrieved September 14, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Dataset - Koppen climate classifications". World Bank. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
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