Hornsund's vegetation

Tufted saxifrage (Saxifraga cespitosa) and Arctic mouse-ear (Cerastium arcticum)Vegetation at the south-facing Gnålodden. Tufted saxifrage (Saxifraga cespitosa) and Arctic mouse-ear (Cerastium arcticum). (Image: Jørn Henriksen)

The flora in Hornsund is mainly quite unproductive, but exceptions occur. The vegetation around the fjord belongs to the northern Arctic tundra zone. Around midfjord – on both sides – acidic tundra dominates, with northern woodrush – a plant in the rush family – as the character species. From the Polish Research Station in Isbjørnhamna and north along the strand flats, past Hyttevika, we find the characteristic moss-tundra below the scree-slopes where the seabirds nest, which are important feeding-areas for geese during the seasonal migration. At higher elevations the vegetation is characterized as Arctic polar desert (plant communities on acidic substrates, with northern woodrush as the key species). The strand flats just south of Hornsund are dominated by tundra, and further south by moist moor vegetation.

Updated May 2009

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Norwegian Polar Institute
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