Caribous. Parc de Kuruurjuaq.Robert Fréchette, KRG
Despite its northerly latitude, the park’s physical geography lends itself to relatively diversified vegetation. Arctic-alpine vegetation, consisting mainly of lichen and moss over dry soil with no trees –not even stunted ones, grows in the mountain and high-plateau sectors. On the Labrador side of the Torngat Mountains, a recent study surprisingly revealed 16 taxons of moss considered rare in Canada, including several at the southern limit of their range.
In the valley of the Koroc River, below an elevation of 275 m, a boreal pocket in this arctic environment hosts old-growth black spruce and tamarack. The vascular species that thrive in the richer soil of the valley are also boreal for the most part. In fact, on one of the southward-facing valley slopes, a stand of white birch is the northernmost occurrence of this species in Québec. These 200 relicts are a reminder that our environment is constantly evolving.
Palsa peat lands are present in certain wetland areas. The small hummocks of peat, with their frozen cores, nurture a diversity of vegetation that is more abundant than that found in more southerly peat lands. Palsa are also an important indicator of the consequences of global warming since their deterioration due to melting is easily observable.
Jean Gagnon (MDDEP)
Norman Dignard (MRNF)