The importance of snow for mountain plant ecology (completed)
The project focuses on the effects of snow for the distribution of mountain plants, vegetation types, species richness, and plant phenology. So far 350 permanent plots (2x2m) have been established, south, east and north of Hardangervidda (60 in the Finse area). Floristic composition and soil samples have been analysed in all plots. In most of the plots, data-loggers are recording soil temperatures. From April until late summer, plots are regularly visited in order to measure snow thickness and study plant phenology. The results of the studies will also be used a basis for evaluation of possible ecological effects of global warming.
View from Sanddalsnuten, near Finse Alpine Research Center. Snow patches are distrubuted across the habitats, which have a large influence on plant phenology and diversity.