Aliens and their way to the top

5 years later, we are getting ready for a re-survey of our longterm observational plots along the roads in the Norwegian mountains. The perfect moment to summarize in a series of posts what we learned from our first trip. Remember my story about how lowland roadsides are flooded with species that do not  belong in the natural … Continue reading Aliens and their way to the top

Road effects

5 years later, we are getting ready for a re-survey of our longterm observational plots along the roads in the Norwegian mountains. The perfect moment to summarize for a second what we learned from our first trip. Roadsides host more plant species than the natural vegetation. That is the conclusion I drew in my previous post. … Continue reading Road effects

What is hiding in mountain roadsides?

5 years later, we are getting ready for a re-survey of our longterm observational plots along the roads in the Norwegian mountains. The perfect moment to summarize for a second what we learned from our first trip. Mountains are increasingly important islands of pristine nature in our rapidly changing world. They contain some of the most … Continue reading What is hiding in mountain roadsides?

5 years later

Summer 2012. I was a young masters student, spending my first month of many above the polar circle. I joined a global consortium called MIREN, the Mountain Invasion Research Network, that surveyed plant invasions along roads in mountain regions scattered across the globe. With 3 roads in the north of Norway, close to Narvik, we … Continue reading 5 years later

Flying a helicopter

This post was originally posted on 'On top of the world'. Our most remote plots involve hours of climbing on steep mountain slopes, through dense willow shrubs and over dry rocky areas. But not this time. This time we had to walk for 20 minutes to Abisko's helicopter base and do the full hourlong walk in less … Continue reading Flying a helicopter

Please do not disturb

The 3D lab

If you leave your experiment behind in the Scandinavian mountains, you will have to deal with the wildlife up there.

Reindeer and Lapporten

We learned that lesson the hard way. It turns out that the high north houses a high density of reindeer, a fact we immediately noticed in our plots: labels destroyed, large footprints everywhere, flowers eaten, even some dung piles… The reindeer seemed to be attracted to our research!

Sassy rein

The first few days, we only saw their tracks, obvious as they were. It only took us some time to finally see one in real life.

Reindeer and Torneträsk

We thought they might have been hiding from us far away in the mountains, on the highest and less-visited peaks, but in the end our first sighting was right next to the chairlift, on the most touristical location in the whole northern mountain range.

Reindeer and chairlift

The next day, we saw some more disturbers, with impressive antlers and a fierce look.

Majestic reindeer bull

They were too majestic…

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A happy reunion

This July, we planted seeds on 1000 meters in the mountains, well above their current growing limits. Now, at the end of August, we were very curious to see if they managed to germinate. It was an exciting hike to the top, our thoughts switching between 'oh no,everything will be dead!' and 'this gonna be … Continue reading A happy reunion

Back to the top

We are back in Abisko after two months. Right before the start of the rainy autumn weather - it might fall upon us on our last day - we are here to harvest the seedlings of our two-year experiment. We take a week to skim the mountains and bring down the harvest to the research … Continue reading Back to the top