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Bare rock

Featuring:Johanna Haapala, UPM

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Bare rock

key biotopes

Specialized species are adapted to bare rock habitats.

Open bare rock areas are sites where bedrock is exposed. The soil layer on these sites is either absent or very thin. You can find exposed bedrock especially on hilltops and at sea shores. In a forest environment, a bare rock area refers to a habitat where the canopy cover is under 10 percent. In Finland, these types of habitats are usually relatively small in size.

Bare rock habitats are open and the amount of sun they get affect climate and light conditions. While the microclimate of bare rock areas is warm and light, growing conditions are often very harsh. The tree layer consists mostly of pines and shrubby juniper. Only species that are adapted for living on bare rock thrive in this environment, such as different lichens and mosses. Vascular plants exist but on a minor scale.

Bare rock areas are unfavorable for wood production because tree growth is limited and regeneration difficult. The special conditions in these areas differ from the general forest environment, making them key habitats that support biodiversity. From both the forestry and biodiversity perspective, bare rock areas are not used commercially.

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