Alpine habitats

Alpine habitats are typical for the Fell Region of the northernmost Lapland. The area of alpine habitats in Finland is a little more than 1.5 million hectares which corresponds to 3.6% of the country's total area. Alpine habitats are a primary habitat for 3% of all well-known species in Finland. Of these, 36% occur in mountain heaths, 21% in wetlands, 19% in rocky and scree habitats and 8% in meadows. The remaining 16% of alpine species have not been placed to any specific alpine habitat.

The most abundant alpine species groups are insects, mosses, lichens and vascular plants. Butterflies, mosquitoes and flies are the most species-rich insect groups. Butterflies inhabit most of all mountain heaths, mosquitoes and flies are most common in wetlands. Vascular plants are quite evenly distributed in all alpine habitats as well as mosses which are nevertheless lacking from mountain heaths. Lichens occur only in mountain heaths and rocky habitats.


What and where?

Alpine habitats consist of open and semiopen areas of the Fell Region. These include mountain heaths and meadows, wetlands and areas of scattered vegetation. Alpine habitats are mainly located above or north from the treeline.

In Finland, almost the whole alpine vegetation region as well as the largest fells in the boreal region are considered alpine habitats. The actual Fell region is mainly located in the areas of the three northernmost municipalities Utsjoki, Inari and Enontekiö. In addition, alpine habitats can be found south from these as well as in north-eastern Finland and Kainuu region.


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