N-Norway 2022

Expedition: Bryophytes on calcareous ground in alpine zones in region Tromse og Finmark

organized by Prof. Kristian Hassel Department of Natural History NTNU University Museum


Calcareous rocks are quite rare in Norway. There is a layer of only a few meter thickness over the whole country, but only appears in a few places to the surface. There is this project, to check the bryophyte flora of this mainly isolated sites since some years. The places in the alpine zone of the far North around Rundhaug and Alta was the last to visit. Most records of bryophyte species in this region are more than 100 years old. So we was eager, what we could find there.

07-24-01 Norwegen-Anreise.jpg

I was invited by Kristian Hassel to this exploration. The map shows the location of the excursion destinations around Rundhaug SW Tromsoe and in the second week around Alta. This is my personal photo diary and the pictures shows just one part of the excursions. We often divided in different groups, and I, with my tired bones, stayed always in the lower positions, but the group around Torbjørn, Thomas, John and Perry always conquered the highest alpine heights.

07-24-02 group.jpg

This is our group. In the first row, from right to left:
Kristian Hassel, Leif Applegren, Torbjørn Høitomt
in the second row from left to right:
Thomas Kiebacher, Lars Söderström, Perry Larsen, John Gunnar Brynjulvsrud, Michael Lüth

07-25-01 Regen Oslo.jpg

My travelling begins in rain from Frankfurt to Oslo
and from Oslo to further North.

07-25-02 Ankunft Tromsoe.jpg
07-25-03 Tromsoe.jpg

Arriving Tromsoe, the rain stoped and the weather was fine.

07-25-08 Rundhaug midnight.jpg

Our first base camp was Rundhaug.
We arrived at late night and had a nice view to the coloured Tolvtinden
with the light of sunset and sunrise at midnight (both within 10 minutes)

07-26-01 Rundhaug morning.jpg

The next morning the Tolvtinden had a cap of clouds,
what mean, that rain is coming.


Rundhaug is just a small village, after 100 m walk you can be in pure nature.


26.07.2022 Kirkedalen, Lappskaret, Kjoervegen

We start our first tour with climbing through the birch forest,
to cross the tree line and reach the alpine zone.


The landscape was fantastic and the weather looks... interesting.


Then we reach the first calcareous cliffs around the tree line,
with interesting bryophytes:

07-26-07 Isopterygiopsis pulchella.jpg

Isopterygiopsis pulchella,

07-26-09 Brachythecium erythrorrhizon.jpg

Hypnum erythrorhizon,

07-26-10 Encalypta_affinis.jpg

Encalypta affinis,

07-26-11 Encalypta_driva.jpg

the recently new described, very small Encalypta driva,

07-26-12 Rhynchostegium_murale_var._arcticum.jpg

Rhynchostegium arcticum (R. murale var. julaceum),

07-26-14 Schistidium_papillosum.jpg

the common but beauty Schistidium papillosum and

07-26-15 Schistidium_trichodon_nutans.jpg

Schistidium trichodon var. nutans.

07-26-20 rain.jpg

After a few hours the rain start heavy, the visibillity was getting bad
and we had to go back.

07-27-01 rainy morning.jpg

27.07.2022 Dividalen, Lulit Cavarri

Next morning it is still raining. Anyway,
we leave for our next tour in Dividalen, to Skrubben, at the Lulit Cavarri


We found a small road for hunters, that brought us a bit above the bottom of the valley.
Because Thomas has lost his suitcase when he came to Norway,
he start with new super adapted rainwear, bought in the local supermarket.

07-27-03 above treeline.jpg

When we reached the treeline, the rain has stopped..

07-27-04 eisiger Wind.jpg

..but a very strong and icy wind was blowing in the alpine zone.

07-27-05 Vogelsitzfelsen.jpg

We found an interesting bird sitting place on an exposed cliff,

07-27-07 Brachythecium_collinum.jpg

with Brachytheciastrum collinum

07-27-08 Schistidium_frisvollianum.jpg


07-27-09 Schistidium friesvollianum.jpg

Schistidium frisvullianum

07-27-14 Dicranum flagellare.jpg

Between the shrubs grows a lot of

07-27-15 Dicranum flagellare.jpg

Dicranum flagellare

07-27-18 eisiger Wind.jpg

Soon it get quite dark, new rainclouds arrived and after a last picture

07-27-20 cold fingers.jpg

we went down to the cars again, where we reached wet
and with frozen blue fingers.

So the first two days we was not so lucky with the weather.
But this was just to show, what weather in the North can be.
From then on, it getting better every day.

07-28-01 path to cabin.jpg

28.07.2022 Alapen

Next day we start to the N-exposed slope above Alapmosetra.
The first few meters there was a small path to the cabins of hunters.

07-28-02 Barbilophozia_floerkei.jpg
07-28-03 Barbilophozia_floerkei.jpg

Beside the way there was a nice patch of Barbilophozia floerkei.

07-28-05 without path.jpg

Then we have to climb pathless higher through the birches.

07-28-06 Orthothecium_lapponicum.jpg

Beside a small river with waterfalls we found

07-28-07 Orthothecium_lapponicum.jpg
07-28-08 Orthothecium_lapponicum.jpg
07-28-09 Orthothecium_lapponicum.jpg

Orthothecium lapponicum

07-28-10 Orthothecium_chryseon.jpg
and also
07-28-11 Orthothecium_chryseon.jpg
07-28-12 Orthothecium_chryseon.jpg

Orthothecium cryseon.

07-28-13  Lophozia_wenzelii.jpg

On a small island in the river was typical

07-28-14 Lophozia_wenzelii.jpg

Lophozia wenzelii.

07-28-20 treeline.jpg

Then we came to a plateu at the treeline

07-28-21 alpine.jpg

and soon we reached the alpine zone,

07-28-23 alpine.jpg

with a interesting cliff of calcareus rock.

07-28-24 Hypnum_recurvatum.jpg
07-28-25 Hypnum_recurvatum.jpg

There we found Hypnum recurvatum,

07-28-26 Ptychodium_plicatum.jpg

Ptychodium plicatum,

07-28-27 Syntrichia_norvegica.jpg

Syntrichia norvegica

07-28-28 Encalypta_alpina.jpg

and Encalypta alpina.

07-28-30 Pseudocalliergonella_angustifolia.jpg

More up we reached a complex of snowbed,
cold springs and fens between rocks.

07-28-31 Pseudocalliergonella_angustifolia.jpg

There was a lot of rich fruiting

07-28-32 Pseudocalliergonella_angustifolia.jpg

Pseudocalliergon angustifolium.

07-28-33 Jungermannia_obovata.jpg

In the water below the spring there was big patches of

07-28-34 Jungermannia_obovata.jpg

Jungermania obovata

07-28-35a Paludella_squarrosa.jpg

and in the fen Paludella squarrosa, here in normal creeping form

07-28-35b Paludella_squarrosa.jpg

and also in an erect growth form.

07-28-36 Rhizomnium_pseudopunctatum.jpg

And also fruiting Rhizomnium pseudopunctatum was one of the party.

07-28-37 Kiaeria_glacialis.jpg

In the snowbed in the end Kiaeria glacialis

07-28-38 Conostomum_tetragonum.jpg

and Conostomum tetragonum made our day.

07-29-01a way.jpg

29.07.2022 Kirkedalen, Lappskardet, Sávzariehppi

For this day the weather forecast promised sun all day long.
So we went to the same place as in our first day excursion in the Kirkesdalen,
where we had to turn back because of the rain.

The first part we followed a small way, that hunters built to their cabins,

07-29-01b no way.jpg

and then we climb pathless through the birches


up to the alpine zone, with a beautiful view in the wild landscape.


On a plateau was a big mire with springs and rich fens. There we had

07-29-04 Catascopium_nigritum.jpg

Catascopium nigritum,

07-29-05 Cinclidium_stygium.jpg

Cinclydium stygium,

07-29-06 Scorpiurium_scorpioides.jpg

Scorpidium scorpioides,

07-29-08 Splachnum_vasculosum.jpg

Splachnum vasculosum, fertil plants,

07-29-09 Splachnum_vasculosum.jpg

male plants

07-29-10 Splachnum_vasculosum.jpg

and fruiting plants.

07-29-11 Oncophorus_integerrimus.jpg

Also we had Oncophorus integerrimus,

07-29-12 Oncophorus_integerrimus.jpg

that seems to be much more common than O. viride.

07-29-13 Bryum_cryophilum.jpg

In a cold spring stream we was surprised to find

07-29-14 Bryum_cryophilum.jpg

Bryum cryophilum

07-29-15 Bryum_cryophilum.jpg

(between Pohlia wahlenbergii),

07-29-16 Bryum_cryophilum_2022-07-29_e.jpg

a rare and arctic-alpine moss.

07-29-18 Bryum_weigelii.jpg

On the banks of the spring stream was another alpine moss,

07-29-19 Bryum_weigelii.jpg

Bryum weigelii.


The cliff (middle of picture) with this dark colour rocks,
we choose as our next target of interest.


The north faced rocks has seeping water.
At this humid place we we found

07-29-22 Hygrohypnum_alpestre.jpg

Hygrohypnum alpestre,

07-29-23 Cyrtomnium_hymenophyllum.jpg

Cyrtomnium hymenophyllum,

07-29-24 Plagiopus_alpinus.jpg

Plagiopus alpinus

07-29-25 Sauteria_alpina.jpg

and Sauteria alpina.


In the end, we all was happy about a very nice excursion day


and in late noon we went back from this fantastic surroundings.

07-30-01 Cyrtomnium_hymenophylloides.jpg

30.07.2022 Rundhaug

At the next day I felt my bad knees and I had to stay in Rundhaug.
But I used my time to look around the village
and found a nice place with Cyrtomnium hymenophylloides.
I used the whole day, to try to make a perfect picture of this plant.
It is worth to zoom in the picture to see all the structures.

07-31-01 travelling day.jpg


This day was a travelling day.
We have to move from Rundhaug to Alta, what took us the whole day.

07-31-03 rest.jpg

We just stoped in one place, where Bryum wrightii was reported,
but didn't found it. Also the ecology does not looked suitably for this species.

07-31-10 midnight.jpg

In the late evening we arrived to our next base camp.
Here a view from the very simple living room
over the Rafsbotn of the Altafjorden with sunset / sunrise at midnight.

08-01-01 air&b.jpg


From our small camp in Turelva we started in bright sunshine

08-01-04 Torbjorn at start.jpg

to a tour from Kåfjord to the Storfjellet, West of Alta.

08-01-06 above treeline.jpg

There was a comfortable way brought us to the treeline

08-01-08 mining.jpg

with the view to the new Kåfjord bridge.
The stones in front belongs to the old mining areae at this place.

08-01-09 copper.jpg

In former time, they are digging for cupper here, so we was searching
for cupper mosses like Mielichhoferia, but we did not found some.

08-01-10 Anthelia_juratzkana.jpg

What we found was Anthelia juratzkana,

08-01-11 Pohlia_proligera.jpg

Pohlia proligera,

08-01-12 Leiocolea_heterocolpos.jpg

Leiocolea heterocolpos,

08-01-13 Dicranella_gevelliana.jpg

Dicranella grevelliana,

08-01-15 Hypnum_recurvatum.jpg

and Hypnum recurvatum.

08-02-01 new bright morning.jpg


08-02-03 climbing the entrance.jpg

At the next sunny day we went to the Hesteskovannet near Borani
at Kåfjord. The tour began with a little sporty utfordring.

08-02-04 lake without wind.jpg

Above the Hesteskovannet where interesting cliffs
on the steep mountain slope.

08-02-06 in the cliffs.jpg

On the intermediate rockfaces we found

08-02-07 Tetralophozia_setiformis.jpg

Tetralophozia setiformis,

08-02-08 Grimmia_elatior.jpg

Grimmia elatior,

08-02-09 Grimmia_elatior.jpg
08-02-10 Grimmia_funalis.jpg

Grimmia funalis,

08-02-11 Grimmia_funalis.jpg
08-02-12 Schistidium_boreale.jpg

Schistidium boreale,

08-02-13 Hypnum_bambergeri.jpg

Hypnum bambergeri

08-02-14 Hypnum_bambergeri.jpg
08-02-15 Dicranum_elongatum.jpg

and Dicranum elongatum.

08-02-16 Dicranum_elongatum.jpg
08-02-17 Barbilophozia_quadriloba.jpg

In a little puddle between birches Leif showed me

08-02-18 Barbilophozia_quadriloba.jpg

Barbilophozia quadriloba.

08-02-19 Lars and team.jpg

Going back, we met Lars with his team at the meeting point.

08-02-20 cliffs at fjord.jpg

Then we changed to Jansnes near Talvik to a calcareous costal rock,

08-02-21 Orthotrichum_pylaisii.jpg

where we found a lot of Orthotrichum pylaisii

08-02-22 Orthotrichum_pylaisii.jpg
08-02-23 Hypnum_vaucheri.jpg
08-02-24 Hypnum_vaucheri.jpg

and Hypnum vaucheri.

08-02-29 cliffs at fjord.jpg
08-02-31 Papaver lapponicum.jpg

After, we took the chance to have a look to the only site
of Papaver lapponicum in Norway, not so very far away.

08-03-01 grey morning.jpg

03.08.2022 Talvik, Rundfjellet

We start with some clouds in the morning.

08-03-03 first sun.jpg

At the Smavannet first sun appears.

08-03-04 rich mire.jpg

After a short walk we reached the Rundfjellmyra,
a big mire with both, acid and base rich fens.

08-03-06 Amblyodon.jpg

Leif found this perfect Amblyodon dealbatus.

08-03-08 up.jpg

Then we climb up in an open slope with limestone rocks.

08-03-09 up.jpg
08-03-10 Campylium_halleri.jpg

On such rocks with half shadow of some birches, we found real
calcareous mosses like Campylium halleri

08-03-12 Hypnum_sauteri.jpg

and Hypnum sauteri, in the North of Norway a very rare species.

08-03-16 Schistidium_dupretti.jpg

On a open plateau below the Rundfjellet grows a lot of

08-03-17 Schistidium_dupretti.jpg

Schistidium duprettii on the sunny rocks.

08-03-18 Schistidium_dupretti.jpg
08-03-19 Schistidium_robustum.jpg

In half shadow between some birches

08-03-20 Schistidium_robustum.jpg

grows Schistidium robustum.

08-03-21 Schistidium_robustum.jpg
08-03-30 Grimmia_anomala.jpg

More up, the rocks was less calcareous and we found

08-03-31 Grimmia_anomala.jpg

Grimmia anomala, with yellow orange gemmae.

08-03-32 Grimmia_anomala.jpg
08-03-35 alpine.jpg

Higher up we got a nice view to the Balgalanrassa and the Flintfjellet.

08-03-36 Schistidium_agasizii.jpg

On a wet rock we found Schistidium agasizii.

08-03-37 Schistidium_agasizii.jpg

In the end of the day we was happy about a nice excursion
with rare and interesting bryophytes.


08-04-01 over the see.jpg

04.98.2022 Kvitfjellet above Store Lerresfjordenjord

For our next destination further North we have to take a boat
to cross the Korsfjorden, because there is no street in that part.
Not many people are living here and wayless wilderness predominates.

08-04-03a Marchantia_montivagans.jpg

At Sommarneset, where we began our way up to the Kvitfjellet,
there was a small fen beside the road,
with Marchantia polymorpha var. montivagans,

08-04-03b Marchantia_montivagans.jpg
08-04-03d Marchantia_montivagans.jpg
08-04-03e Marchantia_montivagans.jpg
08-04-04b Rhizomnium_magnifolium.jpg

Rhizomnium magnifolium

08-04-04c Straminergon_stramineum.jpg

and Straminergon stramineum.

08-04-05 up again.jpg

The way half up through the birches,

08-04-06 forest rocks.jpg

was interesting base rich humid cliffs,

08-04-07 Myurella tenerrima.jpg

with Myurella tenerrima (together with M. julacea)

08-04-08a Lophozia longidens.jpg

Lophozia longidens,

08-04-08b Lophozia_longidens.jpg
08-04-09a Orthothecium_strictum.jpg

and Orthothecium strictum.

08-04-09b Orthothecium_strictum.jpg
08-04-10 snow bed.jpg

In a small north exposed ravine much higher up, was a snowbed

08-04-11a Pohlia_ludwigii.jpg

with Ranunculus pygmaeus,

08-04-11b Pohlia ludwigii.jpg

Pohlia ludwigii

08-04-11c Pohlia ludwigii.jpg

(that always looks like there is a light inside),

08-04-12 Pohlia_obtusifolia.jpg

Pohlia obtusifolia,

08-04-13a Polytrichastrum_sexangulare.jpg

and Polytrichastrum sexangulare.

08-04-13b Polytrichastrum_sexangulare.jpg
08-04-15 on top.jpg

From the top, there was a great view over the
Vargsundet to the Seilandsjøkelen,
a 14 km² big glacier on the island Seiland.

08-04-16a Schistidium_papillosum.jpg

The rocks on the plateau was partly acid,
with a Schistidium papillosum
with long hairpoints in sig sag form,

08-04-16b Schistidium_papillosum.jpg
08-04-17 Dicranum_fuscescens.jpg

with Dicranum fuscescens

08-04-18 Dicranum_spadiceum.jpg

and Dicranum spadiceum.

08-04-19 cliffs.jpg

On a small, south exposed slope whith calcareous cliffs,
what was the perfect place for lunch time.

08-04-20 mire.jpg

Below that slope, there was a through with a mire, with base rich parts.

08-04-21 Warnstorfia_tundrae.jpg

In a small pond grows submerse Warnstorfia tundrae.

08-04-22 Hylocomium_pyrenaicum.jpg

Other interesting mosses in that mire are Hylocomium pyrenaicum,

08-04-23 Oncophorus_elongatus.jpg

Oncophorus elongatus

08-04-24a Tayloria_lingulata.jpg

and Tayloria lingulata.

08-04-24b Tayloria_lingulata.jpg
08-04-25 last alpine view.jpg

On the way back, we came to a windy plateau with

08-04-26 Tortella_fragilis.jpg

Tortella fragilis,

08-04-27 Stegonia_latifolia.jpg

Stegonia latifolia

08-04-28 Lophozia_hyperarctica.jpg

and a Lophozia, maybe hyperarctica.

08-04-30 down.jpg

With a bit melancholy, we ended this last trip of our expedition,
stumpled down through dens birches.

08-05-01 rainy morning.jpg

Now, after all excursions, the rain comes back

08-05-02 heavy rain on road.jpg

and make it more easy for us to leave this fantastic landscape.


During the way there was some more beautiful views in this nordic light.

08-05-05 farry.jpg
08-05-06 farry.jpg

On the way, we stopped for one more calcareous costal rock,

08-05-33 Orthotrichum pylaisii a.jpg

and found again Orthotrichum pylaisii.

08-05-40 Ami.jpg

In Tromsoe, I had to stay over night in the nice Ami Hotel,
to get my flight back.


So I found some time to visit this cosy city,


with this mixture of old and new, side by side.


And it is also a city with young culture...


In the early morning I took the first plane.


And with a last view over Tromsoe


I headed back over enchanting landscapes,


to the grey city of Frankfurt.

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