Kongsfjorden's and Krossfjorden's vegetation

Polar scurvygrass (Cochlearia groenlandica) appear at all bird cliffs in Kongsfjorden. (Image: Kit Kovacs & Christian Lydersen / The Norwegian Polar Institute) Lush vegetation, including alpine arnica (Arnica angustifolia). (Image: Bjørn Fossli Johansen / The Norwegian Polar Institute)

The inner part of Kongsfjorden is one of Svalbard’s lushest areas due to a favourable local climate. The fjord system has large bird colonies, contributing to the green vegetation downslope of the nesting areas.

Ossian Sars Nature Reserve, in the innermost fjord, is regarded as the most species-rich locality in Svalbard for vascular plants. Important and vulnerable species are diminutive gentian (Comastoma tenellum), false sedge (Kobresia simpliciuscula), low sandwort (Arenaria humifusa) and smooth woodsia (Woodsia glabella).

Updated May 2015

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