Site details

(lookup in gazetteer)
Flag of Norway
2 stars - De facto protected because of geographical conditions and location
Normal Focal Site

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Typical north-Norwegian coast; Porsanger, Finnmark. Photo: R. Palerud

Synoptic description of site:

Set of three fixed reference stations along a depth gradient at three different localities. Results so far suggest depth is more important for fauna than latitude.

Extensive description of site:

Three representative northern Norwegian fjords are located in Troms and Finnmark counties. The innermost parts are relatively sheltered, but the outer parts are exposed to open sea. Water temperatures vary from 1-12 º C.

Habitats present:
Littoral XX
Seagrass beds 

Description of fauna and flora:

Present studies focus on soft bottom macrobenthos (400 taxa recorded) and ecological changes along depth gradients. There are marked similarities across fjords at similar depths.

Human impact:

The sites are not subject to local or regional anthropogenic impact.


Small-scale facilities and boats are available locally. The nearest University facilities are at Tromsø, between 3-7 hours drive away, depending on location.

Available database and website:

The soft-bottom macrofaunal database is available at Akvaplan-niva, Polar Environmental Centre / County Governor of Troms.

Commitment and ongoing research:

Repeated monitoring of the reference sites is encouraged for future studies of biological and physical changes (including climate and anthropogenic impact). The existing database is used for biodiversity and ecological research and a publication is pending.

Additional Information:

See covering letter for comments on interesting research oppurtunities in high-latitude Atlantic fjords exposed to Arctic surface conditions.