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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Martin Öhman
  General Description   Situated in the Province of Turku and Pori in southwestern Finland, this biosphere reserve comprises terrestrial and marine habitats such as coniferous forests, wood meadows, heaths, rocky meadows, rocky or sandy islets, arable land, seashores and open sea areas. The Archipelago Sea National Park, which represents the core area of the biosphere reserve, differs in many aspects from other Finish national parks since it comprises traditional landscape with grazing and hay-cutting activities as well as fishing and hunting activities. It was established in order to protect the natural environment and culture of the Archipelago Sea, to safeguard the traditional ways of utilizing natural resources, to protect a living community and to promote environmental research and interest in nature.
With the establishment of the biosphere reserve, a buffer zone and transition area now surrounds the national park in order to pave the way for a sustainable development of the Archipelago Sea area. About 1,200 people live permanently within the biosphere reserve, which receives about 200,000 visitors annually (1991). A number of sustainable development projects are carried out, supported by research activities and exchange of experiences in the international network of biosphere reserves. The Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve is coordinated by the Southwest Finland Regional Environment Center, carrying out development and research projects in cooperation with various partners (e.g. rural communities and individuals, Regional Council of Southwest Finland, the Archipelago Area Development Center, Abo Akademi, The University of Turku and the Forest and Park Service). Projects include the creation of village plans to support sustainable development, the support of sustainable leisure fishing and sustainable tourism in the Archipelago Sea area.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands; Brackishwater archipelago
  Major habitats & land cover types   Coniferous forests characterized by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies) and birch (Betula pubescens); mull-soil forest with spruce, birch and aspen (Populus tremula), characterized by alder (Alnus glutinosa), ash (Fraxinus excelsior) or oak (Quercus robur) and hazel (Corylus avellana); wood meadow including Ranunculus acris, R. auricomus, Dianthus deltoides etc.; field, heath and rocky meadow with Cladonia spp., Empetrum nigrum, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi; rocky treeless islets with Allium schoenoprasum, Tripleurospermum maritimum, Cochlearia danica etc.; sandy islets with Urtica dioica, Sedum acre, Fragaria vesca etc.; seashore supporting Angelica sylvestris, A. archangelica litoralis, Isatis tinctoria, Linaria vulgaris, Festuca polesica, Carex spp. etc.; Baltic marine area with species such as Fucus vesiculosus, Cladophora glomerata, Furcellaria etc.; agroecosystems with rye, barley, sugarbeet etc.; forestry ecosystems with Scots pine and spruce
  Location   60°N; 22°E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   420,000
  Core area(s)   48,000 (of which marine: 45,000)
  Buffer zone(s)   232,000 (of which marine: 218,000)
  Transition area(s) when given   140,000 (of which marine: 121,000)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -105 to +50
  Year designated   1994
  Administrative authorities   Southwest Finland Regional Environment Centre (in charge) reporting for the Ministry of Environment
  Brief description   Biodiversity monitoring system of the Archipelago Sea
Development of an environmental monitoring system based on computer cartography in the Archipelago Sea area
Managing biodiversity data in information society: development of functional solutions for Finnish coastal areas
Development of a joint GIS-database in the Archipelago Sea area
On-line measurement of water quality in Turku - Mariehamn - Stockholm ship route
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
Local geographic information network (
Future scenarios for the archipelago communities
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Hydrology.
  Biodiversity   Biodiversity, coastal/marine, methodologies.
  Socio-economic   Modelling, social/socio-economic aspects.
  Integrated monitoring   Geographic Information System/GIS, management issues, mapping, monitoring/methodologies, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address   Katja Bonnevier
Coordinator for Archipelago Sea Area Biosphere Reserve
The Town of VÄSTÅBOLAND, The Development Centre, Traffic and Archipelago
FIN-21710 Korpo
  Telephone   (358.40) 5844559
  Fax   (358) 2 4585988
  Web site  

Last updated: 14/04/2009

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