To Unesco home page

To sitemap

To MAB home page title2.gif (2287 bytes)
      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The biosphere reserve comprises part of the Lake Vänern drainage basin. Lake Vänern is the largest lake in
Sweden and the third largest lake in Europe. In the western part of the area is Hindens rev, a long glacial
moraine that stretches 5 km into the lake. Hindens rev is part of the so called middle Swedish ice marginal
zone, resulting from the receding inland ice 10,000 years ago.
In the central parts of the biosphere reserve is Mount Kinnekulle, Västergötland’s highest plateau mountain,
and Mount Lugnåsberget, one of the smallest plateau mountains in the county. The area also includes boulderridges
and sand-ridges. South-west of Mount Kinnekulle is the only species-rich highly calcareous fen outside
the lime-rich area, the so called Skebykärret. The area south and south-west of the plateau mountains consists
of relatively flat cultural landscape, dominated by agriculture. Large areas of contiguous forest occur in the
archipelago as well as in the southern and eastern parts of the area.
Along the 350 km long Lake Vänern coast there are a number of sites with reed areas and rich birdlife. The
largest contiguous reed area is found at Lake Dättern in the south-western part of the area. The islands and
skerries in the archipelago include extensive sandy beaches and dunes, rocks, flat-rock pine forest and bilberry
spruce forest. Torsö, the largest island in Lake Vänern, is home to a wetland area. The area includes five rivers
of which the two largest, Tidan and Lidan discharge in Lake Vänern at the two largest population centres
Lidköping and Mariestad. The three smaller rivers, Friaån, Sjöråsån and Mariedalsån run through the
agricultural landscape before discharging in Lake Vänern.
There are almost 60 000 people living in the biosphere reserve. The transition area is the most densely
populated area within the biosphere reserve, where a little over 50 000 people lives. The transition area
incorporates the city centres of Götene, Lidköping and Mariestad. Lidköping and Mariestad are located on the
shores of Lake Vänern, while Götene is situated along the European Route E20.
Core areas include national park, nature reserves, Natura 2000 sites and forest habitat protection areas.
The buffer zones consist of areas of national interest for the purpose of nature conservation, areas of national
interest for the purpose of culture heritage conservation, Ramsar site, nature conservation areas, forest with
nature conservation agreements, fish protection areas and protected shores. The transition area includes other
land. The core areas are mainly surrounded by buffer zones which in turn are surrounded by transition area.
  Major ecosystem type   Microhabitats in the cultivated landscape
Rocky shores / flat-rock pine forest
Reed bays
Rapids, river ravines and spawning grounds
Old-growth forest
Seasonally inundated grassland
Wet forests (Shoreline alder forests, alder carrs and wet pine forest)
Bird skerries
Limestone pavement (alvar)
Broadleaf forest
Oak pastures
Rich fens
Natural pastures
  Major habitats & land cover types   Lakes and running water
Coastal ecosystems
Arable land
Built-up areas
  Location   Biosphere Reserve central point: In Lake Vänern 58°43’44’’ N, 13°19’16’’ E
Biosphere Reserve – external limits:
Northern limit: 59°03’33’’ N, 13°35’28’’ E
Eastern limit: 58°53’29’’ N, 14°01’00’’ E
Southern limit: 58°23’22’’ N, 12°41’41’’ E
Western limit: 58°24’48’’ N, 12°38’47’’ E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   278,600
  Core area(s)   16 281
  Buffer zone(s)   40 876
  Transition area(s) when given   221 443
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   44 metres
  Year designated   2010
  Administrative authorities   Götene Municipality, Lidköping Municipality, and Mariestad Municipality
  Brief description   Research: Fossil meteorites on Mount kinnekulle, Freshwater phytoplankton, Fish catches and history/fish genetic structure,
Chinese mitten crab – an alien species, Landscape, farmers and their actions, Entrepreneurship within agricultural
conservation, Dynamic growth capital, Preservation of shiprecks, Antiquarian survey, outdoor recreation in change.
Environmental monitoring: Air pollution, Bottom sediments in Lake Vänern, Inventory of lakes and watercourses, Water
chemistry monitoring, Monitoring of groundwater sources, Air and precipitation chemistry, Pasture land flora, Catch statistics
for fisheries, Inventory of bird skerries, Quantification of pelagic fish abundance, Tagging of salmon and brown trout,
Monitoring of bottom sediments, Monitoring of zooplankton and phytoplankton, Forest damage survey, Bird serveys,
Monitoring of environmental pollutants and metals in perch and pike, Environmental reporting.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, acidic deposition/acid rain, air quality, air temperature, climate, contaminants, erosion, geology, geomorphology, global change, groundwater, habitat, heavy metals, hydrology, indicators, monitoring/methodologies, nutrients, pollution, pollutants, siltation/sedimentation, soil, topography.
  Biodiversity   Algae, alien/invasive/exotic/introduced species, amphibians, autoecology/synecology, biodiversity, biogeography, biology, birds, boreal forest, breeding/reproduction, coastal/marine, community studies/communities, conservation, ecology, ecosystem assessment, fauna, fishes, flora, forest systems, freshwater/inland water, home gardens, invertebrates/insects/spiders, mammals, monitoring/methodologies, mountain and highland systems, natural resources, plants, rare/endangered/threatened species, reintroduction, reptiles, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, species inventorying/inventory, wetlands, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, archaeology/paleontology, capacity building, economically important species, energy production systems/alternative energy, fishery/fisheries, forestry, human health, livestock and related impacts/overgrazing, local participation, mining, modelling, people-nature relations/man/nature, recreation, stakeholders' interests, tourism, traditional practices/ethnology/traditional knowledge, transport.
  Integrated monitoring   Education and public awareness, environmental change, geographic information system/gis, infrastructure, landscape inventorying/monitoring, management issues, planning and zoning measures/zonation, remote sensing, rural systems, sustainable development/sustainable use, urban systems/towns/cities, watershed studies/monitoring.
  Contact address    Biosfärområde Vänerskärgården med Kinnekulle
Biosfärkontoret, Magasingatan 4
SE 542 86 Mariestads kommun
  Web site

Last updated: 18/06/2010

To topTo MAB home pageTo UNESCO