The natural environment in Sápmi
The mountain area in Sápmi, which is part of the Scandinavian mountain chain, is a one hundred kilometers wide zone running from north to south. All of Sweden's mountains above 1 800 meters are located in this area. Many of them are in the Sarek area and the Kebnekaise Mountains, Sweden’s two most extensive high mountain regions. Generally speaking, the mountains are more or less gently rounded and offer the mountain hiker an easily travelled terrain.
The innumerable mountain brooks that gush down the mountainsides and are collected in the well-watered larger streams down in the mountain valleys give a fair hint what the climate is like in the summertime. Cool and humid, often with abundant precipitation. Despite the harsh and inhospitable climate, there are areas that display a surprising richness of species, especially where the soil is rich in lime.
The natural environment on the mountain region above the timberline consists of vast, treeless alpine heaths, often covered with different kinds of scrub and tussocks of short grass and sedges as well as willow and lush herbaceous vegetation and osier thickets on more humid soil. The landscape often consists of rocks, boulders and barren cliffs. On the mountaintops only lichens and mosses grow alongside occasional clumps of the hardiest plants.
The forests below the timberline often consist of heaths with short birch thickets of knotty, windblown trees. This belt of birch forest, which is simply called "mountain birch forest", forms a narrow strip between the barren mountaintops and the coniferous forests that covers most of Sápmi. That the tree-line is made up of birch and not coniferous trees is unusual in the rest of the world, and it is only in Nordic countries and the Kamchatka Peninsula in North-eastern Siberia that this phenomenon occurs.
In the coniferous forests on the mountain slopes you will find the last large primeval forest areas in Sweden. Several rare forest animals and plants live here on the verge of extinction. These forest are Europe's last continuous primeval forest areas outside of Russia.
Published 792 days ago by lennart.pittja