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Alkaline fens

Valuable wetlands but difficult to manage

image of Alkaline fens

Alkaline fens are species rich wetlands that today are threatened. Nature conservation officers and experts of alkaline fens from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden visited alkaline fens in Sweden and Finland to discuss the current situation. Restoration and management can be expensive and there is a need to find more appropriate ways to manage and restore alkaline fens.

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Alkaline fens in Northern Europe

Alkaline fens, or rich fens, are a very diverse group of habitats. Rich fens in the countries participating in the project vary considerably due to biogeographical conditions. In northern parts of Fennoscandia (mainly central and middle boreal zones), rich fens cover large areas in a mosaic of different mire types. Rich fens are typically situated in areas influenced by baserich or calcareous groundwater. Vegetation species of wet flark surfaces are very typical. In the southern part of the Nordic countries, fens are usually small and in a mosaic pattern, with seminatural habitats where grazing and haymaking still take place. The peat layer can be quite thin (sometimes almost nonexistent) and the habitats often resemble calcareous meadows.

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