The Ecosystem

Bj 10


UNDERC is located in the Northern Highland Province which is the southernmost extension of the Canadian Shield.

  • Glacial deposits are young and drainage system is poorly developed
  • Headwaters for many major river systems
  • Surface deposits are indicative of the glacial retreat consisting of either infertile, sandy, pitted glacial outwash or boulder and clay morainic deposits 
  • Soils also have a reduced capability for cation exchange leaving them very susceptible to acidification and formation of bogs


  • Cool during much of the year 
  • Humid microthermal: no dry season with cold winters and cool, long summers
  • Average temperatures in January range from -4°F (-20°C) to 14°F (-10°C)
  • Average date of the last killing frost is 3 June
  • Lakes on the property are clear of ice by the last week of April, but ice can remain as late as 15 May
  • Average temperatures in July range from 61°F (16°C) to 70°F (21°C), with relative humidity averaging 60 to 70%
  • Annual precipitation ranges between 20" (50 cm) and 40" (100 cm) of snow and rain
    • region has more than 1" (2.5 cm) of snow cover for over 120 days in an average year
    • first frost of the fall usually occurs around 21 September, although frosts can occur during any month of the year
  • Lakes freeze over in late October or early November until the following April or May
    • ice on lakes may attain thicknesses in excess of 32" (82 cm)

Field Sites & Observations


In 2008, UNDERC was chosen as a site for National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program aimed at creating a National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).


UNDERC uses iNaturalist to compile observations by students and users affiliated with our program.