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Icelandic Online Dictionary and Readings

Carry On Icelandic: Culture [selections] (2004)

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Gróšurfar - Vegetation

Gróšurfar

Ķsland er hrjóstrugt land. Ašeins lķtill hluti žess er byggilegur og einungis fjóršungur landsins er žakinn gróšri. Helstu įstęšur žessa eru loftslag sem er óhagstętt gróšri, gosvirkni, hreyfingar skrišjökla og ofbeit. Um 60% landsins er ķ yfir 400 metra hęš yfir sjįvarmįli en ķ 200-400 metra hęš dregur mjög śr gróšri og žegar komiš er ķ 700 metra hęš yfir sjįvarmįli er landiš aš mestu gróšursnautt.

Gróšur einkennist af lįgvöxnum plöntum eins og lyngi og birki. Engir stórir skógar eru ķ landinu en mikill įhugi er mešal landsmanna į skógrękt og landgręšslu. Stęrsti skógur į Ķslandi er Hallormsstašarskógur į Héraši.

Fyrir žann sem er įhugasamur um ķslenskar jurtir er tilvališ aš heimsękja grasagaršinn į Akureyri. Žar eru ręktašar flestar innlendar tegundir jurta. Ķ Laugardal ķ Reykjavķk er einnig fallegur grasagaršur, en nokkru minni en sį į Akureyri.

Color photograph

Frį Eyjafirši (From Eyjafjöršur).

Landeyšing

Ķ aldanna rįs hefur oršiš mikil eyšing į gróšri og skógi, bęši vegna įhrifa nįttśruaflanna og įgangs mannsins. Tališ er aš gróiš land hafi veriš um 60% viš landnįm en er nś ašeins um 25%, žar af er ašeins 1% lands skógi vaxiš.

Landsvęši hafa veriš ręst fram og fé og hrossum beitt óspart į landiš meš alvarlegum afleišingum fyrir gróšurinn. Żmislegt er gert į vegum rķkisins og żmissa félagasamtaka til aš sporna gegn žessari žróun. Auk žess sżnir almenningur landgręšslu mikinn įhuga.

Vegetation

Iceland is a barren country. Only a small part of it is inhabitable and a mere one-fourth of the country is covered by vegetation. This is due to the fact that the climate is unsuitable for vegetation, and to volcanic activity, glacial movements, and over-grazing. About 60% of the country is over 400m above sea-level, but between 200-400m there is a large reduction in the level of vegetation, and at 700m above sea-level the land is at its most barren.

Icelandic vegetation is typically made up of short plants such as heather and birch. There are no large forests in the country, although there is considerable interest amongst Icelanders in forestation and soil reclamation. The largest forest in Iceland is Hallormsstašarskógur in Héraš.

For those interested in Icelandic plants, it is worth visiting the Botanical Gardens in Akureyri. Most of the local plant types are cultivated there. Another beautiful, although somewhat smaller, botanical garden is located at Laugadalur in Reykjavķk.

Soil Erosion

As a result of both the forces of nature and human activities, there has been significant soil erosion and deforestation over the centuries. It is thought that at the time of Norse settlement about 60% of Iceland was covered by vegetation, a figure which now stands at about 25% with only 1% forestation.

The country has been over-exploited: sheep and horses have grazed on the land without pause, leading to serious damage to vegetation. However, much is being done by the Icelandic Government and various organizations to halt this trend and there is considerable public interest in soil reclamation.

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