Dependent on its plant composition and abundance, and modified by its chemistry and structure, the vegetation plays a fundamental role of terrestrial ecosystems.

The vegetation produces food for all terrestrial herbivores, at the same time as it provides food for soil organisms, affects soil chemistry and is essential to soil development. Hence, the vegetation has immediate ecosystem effects as food and long-term ecosystem effects as a modifier of soil conditions for growth.

The vegetation in Finnmark has been and is developing under a harsh climate, on a wide variety of topographic features and on parent material that varies from very poor to nutrient rich, causing a wide variety of vegetation types. Also, the vegetation is highly dynamic, showing strong seasonal and yearly changes. Which plant species have inhabited Finnmark and their composition in the vegetation is of major importance to what quality the vegetation has to the ecosystem. Several ericoid species are very common in Finnmark, of which mountain crowberry (Empetrum nigrum ssp hermaphroditum) is the most common, whereas forests are majorly dominated by mountain birch (Betula pubescens coll.).

The processes determining the vegetation dynamic in Finnmark can sometimes result in strikingly distinct spatial pattern. The photo show the distinct border between a Nardus stricta meadow(right) and dwarf shrub dominated heath(left)

However, the quality of vegetation is not static, for instance, the plants in the vegetation have their own dynamics, having facilitating to competing and even retarding effects on each other, and such dynamics is potentially of great importance to the vegetation development. Also, herbivores can significantly affect vegetation development. In Ecosystem Finnmark we have a major focus on how Plant-herbivore interactions can change vegetation, considering the functional role of the plant species that are affected by the herbivores.




Ecosystem Finnmark


Research workers



Contact us:

Dept. of Biology
Fac. of Science
Uni. of Tromsø
N-9037 Tromsø





Ecosystem Finnmark