Telemark rests in the very most south-western corner of the great Siberian taiga, our terrain, animals and vegetation is somewhat different compared to the eastern part, but it’s still what can be called a “spruce-moose” forest. In Telemark, and Norway in general, there are generally three types of different terrains. The heather moors and fields, which are not natural, are not described. And the coastal rainforest I haven’t much experience with. The far north is classified as tundra and the far south as belonging to the nemoral zone.
Pine moors, being very dry because of well drained soils, scotch pine dominate this terrain, with occational occurence of birch and spruce. Wildlife is relatively scarce here, red squirrel and pine marten are two of the most common mammals, but caribou/reindeer and moose/elk often have their winter habitat there. Capercaillie are the most common game birds. I don’t know of many examples of virgin forest of this kind. Probably because it’s a very easily accessible terrain for logging excellent timber.
Hillsides are usually fertile, especially the ones that face to the south and are slighly moist. There is often a large variety of plants there. These hillsides have willow, spruce, birch, juniper, aspen, bird cherry and a number of other trees. The north facing sides are usually covered in predominately spruce, but with some birch. Right below the mountains, where the very warmest places in all of the territories are, you’ll find elm, hazel and linden. Wildlife is very diverse, hares probably being the most common specie. Roe and red deer often stay only here, since they require foods of higher quality. Beaver can often log quite far up these slopes. I have seen them log several hundred metres up, though then with additional dams up a nearby stream. These slopes are difficult to log, and are often left to “rewild” today.
Bogs are often relatively barren, but if combined with lakes or on rich ground they can harbour important sites for waterfowl and important grazing zones for moose. Wet ground, but overgrown with alder is the primary habitat of the hazel grouse.
Mountains are in summer quite fertile in the lower portions. Sometimes covered in birch or willow. The moose and caribou often go there to graze during that time. The snow patches on the higher elevation provides an escape from the moskitos and flies. In winter the higher elevations provide habitat for the caribou and lower for the grouse.
Edge zones are the most productive places in a habitat, either where a terrain meets a lake or two types meets eachother. The reason why my part of Telemark is particulary productive, is because an abundance of such zones. Many of them created by lakes. Along these lakes
There are several hybrids of these habitats, like deltas, which can be exceptionally rich, but they are rare. Especially today, since many have been drained.
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