Wetlands of Greenland

  • Christian Bay
Reference work entry


Wetlands are distributed throughout Greenland and occur in the lowlands. They include lakes, ponds, fens, grasslands and salt marshes. The vascular plant species diversity varies among the vegetation types and declines with increasing latitude. Fens on rich soils have the highest diversity and aquatic habitats in northernmost Greenland have only a few vascular plant species. The wetlands are dominated by graminoids from the plant families Poaceae, Cyperaceae, and Juncaceae. A continuous moss cover occurs in many habitats. Salt marshes occur on silty soil along protected coastlines and include only a few species. Selected wetlands have been designated for inclusion in the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance. All wetlands in the National Park in North and Northeast Greenland are protected under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere program.


Vascular plants Biodiversity Low arctic High arctic Habitat protection 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Science and TechnologyInstitut for Bioscience, Aarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark

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