Svalbardflora is funded by The Svalbard environmental protection fund.

The authors and contributors to the second edition:

Reidar Elven (professor emeritus, Natural history museum): Texts, quality control

Geir Arnesen (environmental consultant, Sállir natur AS): Head of project, photos, database, maps

Inger Greve Alsos (Professor, Tromsø University Museum): Texts, photos

Bjørn Erik Sandbakk (private initiative): Photos

Suggested citation of Svalbardflora second edition: Elven, R., Arnesen, G., Alsos, I. G., Sandbakk, B. 2020. Svalbardflora. https://svalbardflora.no.

Svalbardflora has been online since 2007 in mostly the same layout. During the years more data and photos has become available and is now presented in a second version of the website. Apart from the new layout, the most important news is the following:

  • Addition of several species which was not treated in the first edition, especially in the grass family (Poaceae).
  • About 600 new photos from a wide selection of species.
  • Zoomable maps provided by The Norwegian Polar institute with updated species records.

The scope of svalbardflora.no is providing updated and detailed information regarding the flora of vascular plants in Svalbard. All known native species are covered and also introduced species with stable populations/growth sites. Texts are written with a typical plant identification situation in mind, but additional information is provided such as relation to other closely related taxa, and worldwide distribution. In situ color photos from Svalbard have been chosen as the main illustration form. Permission to use photos in other publications can be discussed, always citing the source and the photographer. Use the contact email for any request.

The scientific names are according to the PanArctic-Flora (PAF) project. PAF represents the most recent and comprehensive taxonomic revision of the arctic flora and is carried out by experts from the arctic nations. For each species, a record map of known observations is presented. The maps are giving an indication of the species distribution on the archipelago, but it must be kept in mind that some regions are poorly mapped. Hence, distribution is not fully known. The flora of the main island, Spitsbergen, is quite well mapped. Especially the interior parts around Isfjorden and the valleys north of Van Mijenfjorden are well documented. The areas surrounding Ny-Ålesund on the west coast have also frequently been visited by botanists, and in recent years, the valleys in the Wijdefjorden area. However, from the vast areas on the west, north and especially the east coast of Spitsbergen, there are just scattered observations. The big islands of Edgeøya and Barentsøya east of Spitsbergen only have scattered records along the coast, while the inlands are hardly visited. Regarding Nordaustlandet, the northernmost big island, there are only good records from some fiords on the northwest coast. Our knowledge of the distribution of species in the total archipelago is therefore not complete. New species to Svalbard has been discovered as late as in 2018, and new populations of rare species are regularly encountered.

The distribution data are compiled from the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Center (Artsdatabanken) which in turn are publishing data from numerous sources. Most important for data on Svalbard are the herbaria of the University Museums in Oslo, Tromsø and Trondheim. Other important data sources are field notes recorded during several surveys carried out in Spitsbergen and Prins Karls Forland. See below for a list of surveys.

All data has been through a thorough quality control and dubious observations omitted. New data are added occasionally.

Fieldnotes with species observations included in the record maps:

Arve Elvebakk 1989 - Termophilous species in Svalbard - Unpublished dissertation for the Dr. scient degree. This dissertation contains a rather complete dataset of the most thermophilous species in Svalbard. The data are gathered from the Norwegian University Museums but also older publications and Museums abroad. We have extracted the data not covered by other primary sources included in this project.

Arve Elvebakk and Ingvar Brattbakk 1988 - Mapping around Kongsfjorden and Brøggerhalvøya at the west coast of Spitsbergen.

Arve Elvebakk and Eli Robertsen 1994 - Mapping of the northermost part of Prins Karls Forland.

Arve Elvebakk, Jarle Werner Bjerke, Ellen Elverland, Lennart Nilsen, Daniel Joly 2001 and 2002 - Mapping of the flora around Inner Wijdefjorden.

Arve Elvebakk 1988 - Mapping of Agardhdalen on the east coast of Spitsbergen.

Torstein Engelskjøn 1983 - Mapping of Bear Island

Torstein Engelskjøn 1985 - Mapping of Gipsdalen in the interior part of Isfjorden

Torstein Engelskøn 1985-1986 - Mapping of Reindalen north of Van Mijenfjorden.

Torstein Engelskjøn 1986 - Mapping of middle and upper Adventdalen in the interior part of Isfjorden.

Torstein Engelskjøn 1986 - Mapping of Berzeliusdalen north of Van Mijenfjorden.

Torstein Engelskjøn 1987 - Mapping of Eskerdalen in the interior of Spitsbergen Island.

The Botanical society of Northern Norway 2002 - Mapping of the eastern side of Colesdalen, south of Isfjorden.