Great Canadian Parks / Nunavut

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The Parks / Nunavut / Auyuittuq National Park





In the gravel-like outwash of the glaciers, little vegetation exists aside from the lichens on the glacial moraines and the cushion plants such as campion, saxifrage and mountain avens sheltered at their base. Tundra species grow on wind-blown sand that can support dwarf shrubs - birch, willow, heather and blueberry - and tufts of grasses called ‘thufor’. On the edges of fjords and the coastline of the Davis Strait, some tidal flat plants have developed. The sparse vegetation growth and its limited diversity result from thin, nutrient-poor soils, harsh winters and short summers. Many arctic plants grow in clumps, creating their own warmer micro-climate, and in tussocks built up by their own root systems over many summers. Cotton grass sedge grows in boggy areas and the pink and purple Broad-leafed Willow herb and yellow arctic poppy survive in quite barren areas. In all, 112 species of vascular plants, 129 bryophytes and 97 lichens have been catalogued in the park.



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