Study area


Study area


The ECOSHRUB project takes place at Dovrefjell (Dovre Mountains) in Central Norway. Dovrefjell has for hundreds of years been known for its rich flora and rare arctic-alpine plants.

View of the tundra with cages. Photo
View from Armodshøkollen, Dovre Mountains. Photo: Mia Vedel Sørensen

Due to many visitors and heavy collecting, Norway’s first plant protection area was established at Dovrefjell already in 1911. The most interesting areas for plants are on the east side of Drivdalen, with Nordre Knutshø as the most famous mountain. Calcium rich schist dominates the bedrock here. On the west of Drivdalen we find the highest mountain at Dovrefjell Snøhetta (2286 m.a.s.l.). The bedrock is harder and the soil more acidic and here Permafrost and Scandinavia’s southernmost pals formations occur. Dovrefjell is home to large flocks of reindeers, domesticated sheep and to introduced populations of muskox.

Muskox. Photo
The muskox is one of the large herbivores in Dovre Mountains, Central Norway. Photo: Per Harald Olsen/NTNU

Small herbivores as hare, voles and lemmings also influence the vegetation.

Lemming. Photo
Lemmings are present in our study area, and have since 2007 experienced population peaks of varying magnitude every third to fourth year. Photo: Elin Hofgaard Brattström

The experimental sites are situated 1000 m.a.s.l at 62° 14' 17'' N, 9° 37' 39'' E, near Hjerkinn Villreinsenter  and Kongsvoll Biological station.

Map of study area. Photo
Map of study area the willow scrub (blue) and meadow (red) at Hjerkinnshøe, and the heath (white) at Armodshøkollen, Dovre Mountains, Norway.

Herbivore exclosures and willow transplants are part of the experimental set-up.

A herbivore exclosure. Photo
A herbivore exclosure in the willow shrub community closed for the winter. Photo: Mia Vedel Sørensen
Willows. Photo
Willows just transplanted in the heath community, Dovre Mountains, Central Norway. Photo: Mia Vedel Sørensen
Villreinsentret in the Dovre Mountains. Photo
Villreinsentret, Dovre Mountains, Central Norway: The fieldstation at Hjerkinn showered in northern lights. Photo: Ole Einer Hårstad
Antoxanthum nipponicum. Photo
Antoxanthum nipponicum, in the meadow site, Dovre Mountains, Central Norway
Sheep in nature. Photo
Sheep near the heath community, Dovre Mountains, Central Norway. Photo: Benjamin Blonder