• Learning Arctic Biology •

Want to learn about Arctic terrestrial biology?​

Video: Tina Dahl and Marcos Poricres

360° Virtual Field Guides

Explore a variety of locations and learn about its biology, history and more. All in 360 degrees!

ArtsApp - Digital Key​

A digital key for Svalbard’s flora, with specific keys for vascular plants and grasses.

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Microbiology in the Arctic

Since the turn of the previous century, when Arctic explorers began to return samples of microbes for culture and study, our understanding of the microbiology

Bryophytes as environmental indicators

Many bryophyte species are very sensitive to certain environmental conditions – both naturally occurring and imposed by anthropogenic activity. Bryophytes are used as indicators and

Diversity of bryophytes

Bryophytes are the second most diverse group among land plants after the flowering plants (Magnoliophyta, ~350 000 described species; Glime 2007). Defining the number of species of

LGM and postglacial migration

During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), biodiversity was significantly reduced throughout the Arctic (Willerslev et al., 2014); however, the extent of this biodiversity loss varied. The

Invertebrate habitats

Invertebrates on Svalbard can be found just about anywhere, flying, under rocks, in the soil, crawling on the vegetation, in the streams and ponds, even

Fungi in Svalbard

A large number of mushroom species grow in Svalbard. Most are small, some are poisonous, while others are edible and tasty. Fungi have most of

Fungi in the Arctic Environment

Fungi are heterotrophic organisms feeding by osmotrophy. Their ecology can be divided into saprotrophs, parasites and mutualists. However, transitions exist between all these groups. Most

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Bacteria are the major drivers of the Earths biogeochemical cycles, and therefore very important components of the ecosystems. There are estimations showing that more than

Mutualistic fungi

Mutualistic fungi live on other organisms, however in contrast to parasitism, mutualism benefits all involved organisms. The fungi get nutrition, mainly carbohydrates, from their partners,

Bryophyte habitats

Bryophytes are found throughout the world from the harsh environments of Antarctica to the lush conditions of the tropical rainforests. Despite their small size, they

Ecosystem role of bryophytes

Bryophytes have many important ecosystem functions in the Arctic. These include: Regulation of hydrology In many habitats, bryophytes control soil and vegetation hydrology (Beringer et

Saprotrophic fungi

Saprotrophic fungi degrade dead organisms or their remains, such as litter or dung. Depending on their mode of breaking down cellulose or lignin, we recognise

Parasitic fungi

Parasitic and pathogenic fungi obtain their nutrition from other living organisms, and have a negative effect upon the individuals – hosts – they are parasites


What is a virus? Viruses are infectious agents that replicate exclusively within a living cell. Viruses can infect all types of organisms, from animals and

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