The Eastern Canadian Shield Taiga

Description

This is a region that spans much of northern Quebec and much of Labrador.It stretches from Hudson Bay in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east. The Shield Taiga has cool summers and very cold winters, which is caused by the Atlantic Ocean. The Larch Plateau and the Richmond make up the western taiga. The world's largest migrating herd visit this ecosystem, the herd being composed of caribou, and visiting the Geor ge River regularly. The taiga is dotted with string bogs, which may be some of the most extensively developed bogs in North America. Steep-sided, rounded mountains, U-shaped valleys, and fjords line the East Labrador coast. This taiga has been formed from the process of glaciation.

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the Canadian Shield Taiga ecosystem



Climate

The Eastern Canadian Shield Taiga has cool summers, which are shorter in the coastal barrens, and very cold winters, which are longer in the barrens. The length of seasons vary in the barrens due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The average yearly temperature in this region ranges from one to negative six degrees. It is warmer near East Labrador, and it is cooler near Hudson Bay. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 30-40 centimeters south of Ungava Bay to one whole meter of rain in the southeastern part of this ecosystem. The taiga has subarctic climates:high, low, and medium.

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Flora & Fauna

Flora
Lower Laurentians, Quebec
Lower Laurentians, Quebec

Balsam Fir - a medium-sized conifer reaching 40 to 60 feet in height
Black Spruce - a small coniferous tree that is easily windthrown from the soil
Douglas-Fir - this evergreen could grow anywhere from 70 feet to 250 feet
Eastern Red Cedar - a needleleaf tree that has reddish-brown bark that peels in long strips
Jack Pine - a small, bushy conifer that grows to 100 feet at most
Paper Birch - a deciduous tree whose bark can peel off in sheets
Siberian Spruce - a perennial conifer that has dull green needles looks something like a pyramid
White Fir - an evergreen that can age for 350 years and loses its lower branches as it grows older
White Poplar - a deciduous tree that grows quickly and has silvery-white leaves
White Spruce - this conifer is cone shaped, like many others, and when the needles are crushed, a stench emanates from them

Fauna
American Black Bear - a mammal that eats mainly plants and hasthe ability to run up to 25 miles an hour
Bald Eagle - a large bird with a strong, curved beak; the eagle weighs eight to twelve pounds
Bobcat - a small mammal about 2 feet tall with scissor-like teeth and the ability to climb trees
Canadian Lynx - a not-so common wild cat; quickly and slyly, it can strike at any moment
Gray Wolf - the largest wild canine, this carnivore can survive as long as there is food and a somewhat cold climate
Grizzly Bear - a stout and havy bear, this omnivore has a distinguisnable shoulder hump that any other bear does not have
Long-Eared Owl - an 8 to 10 ounce bird that has its ears onits head, but one ear is larger than the other, and is higher up on its head
Red Fox - a rusty-red colored nocturnal carnivore that that is very intelligent
River Otter - this 2-2.5 foot mammal has self-closing nostrils for when it swims underwaterand has webbed feet
Snowshoe Rabbit - a small herbivore whose fur changes with the seasons, from grayish-brown in the summer to white in the winter
Wolverine - this 45-pound weasel can bite through frozen meat and bone and has wonderful hunting skills


Impact

Uranium, nickel, copper, and diamond expeditions are the most common forms of habitat disturbance. Caribou hunting is a threat to their survival due to poor surveillance. Hydroelectric equipment also threatens the lives of the local wild population by permanently flooding five percent of the ecoregion. Logging industries destroy the environment as well by cutting down animal homes. The Sand Lakes Provincial Park, the Caribou River Provincial Park, the Numaykoos Lake Provincial Park, and the Baralzon Lake Ecological Reserve are protecting 20,375 square kilometers of land. The local grizzly bear population could easily be wiped out.

Biotic & Abiotic Factors

Abiotic Factors
Soil - none on outcrops, just sand and peat
Climate - low precipitation with long, very cold winters and short, cool summers
Topography - many small lakes and streams feed into the Great Slave Lake, and fjords line the Atlantic and is dotted with hills
Biotic Factors
Animals - large migrating herd of caribou and a small population of seals in Quebec; many common woodland animals, such as bears, owls, and rodents
Plants - few tall trees mainly in the south, and a large assortment of small bushes and undergrowth