Botany – University of Copenhagen

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Arctic Station > About Arctic Station > Environment > Nature > Botany

Botany

Rhododendron lapponicum The botanical terrestrial diversity of the immediate surroundings of the Arctic Station is unique to low Arctic Greenland. Thios is illustrated by the number of species of flowering plants within walking distance from the station: 212 of the 513 Greenland species are growing here. This diversity is surpassed only at one locality in south Greenland in the boreal birch forest zone. The large number of plant species around Arctic Station is caused by a relatively favourable local climate, lowland as well as high mountains, rich soils and a significant number of homothermic springs. The springs provide an extended growing season for the plants in niches of hollow spaces formed between the heated ground and the overlaying snow fans. A significant number of southern plant species have their northernmost border of occurrence in West Greenland right here in the vicinity of the Arctic Station.

Mosses near Arctisk Station Mosses are frequently a dominating feature of the Disko Island landscape.

The Arctic Station marine environment comprises numerous macroalgae. These occur from the sea surface to approximately 50 metres depth. Most conspicuous are the large brown and red algae. Particularly noticeable are the brown algae (the kelps)  Agarum cribrosum and  Laminaria longicruris, the latter sometimes reaching an overall length of 15 metres. The brown alga Fucus is freqyently the dominating alga along the fringes of the ocean, e.g. at Udkiggen. The mechanical eroding forces of the winter sea ice cases the algae to primarily occur in protected groves on rock surfaces. The calcified red algae are very conspicuous at some shallow localities in e.g. the Disko Fiord area.

The marine phytoplankton is dominated by diatoms and haptophytes. There is a tremendous phytoplankton bloom in early spring (May - June). The Disko Bay is characterised by a rich nanoflagellate flora and fauna.