2 THE STUDY AREA
2.1 GENERAL REMARKS
The Skogvoll mire reserve is part of the Andmyran ('myran'=mire). For an extensive description of the Andmyran I refer to Buys (1987). Other references are, with concern to the vegetation: Osvald (1925), Vorren (1976, '79), Eurola & Vorren (1980), and Dierssen (1982), and with concern to the geology: Flakstad et al. (1985). To give some insight I made a short summary of the description by Buys (l.c.).
Andøya is the northernmost isle of the Vesterålen, a group of isles above the polar circle, on the altitude between Narvik and Tromsø , and, more exactly, between 69° 07' and 69° 11' northern latitude and between 15° 46' and 16° 00' eastern longitude. See also the map (fig.1)
According to the vegetatione the isle is situated in the Middle Boreal Zone, Northern Subzone , Section I (Eurola & Vorren, 1980). Section I is the most oceanic section. As a result of the last glaciations Andøya is still rising. Due to this rise, extensive strandflats have been developed, forming the base on which the mires began to grow. The biggest and northernmost mire, which is called Andmyran or Dverbergmyran, has an extension of about 100 km2 , and is the largest mire of Norway. The investigation area comprises about 30 km2 of this mire, and roughly coincides with the protected area, the Skogvoll reserve. On the west and east side, the mire is bordered by the sea, on the north and south side by small mountains. Mount Arnypa (336m asl.) which is situated on the north‑western corner of the investigation area, is the most important source for the supply of minerals. On the west side of this mountain a stream flows into the mire, and also several springs occur. Also the steep south‑side of the mountain is responsible for a, although more scarcely, mineral supply. Below the mire there must be some other sources of minerals, partly rich in iron. There are also indications for the presence of some fossil shorelines covered by peat, as on some places relatively high concentrations of CaSO4 occurred. The climate of Andøya is very oceanic, strongly influenced by the warm gulfstream. This means an annual precipitation of about 1000 mm, relatively warm winters, and cool summers. Usually the peat is covered with snow between January and March.
Human influence on the mire is in 1984 (still) very little. Agricultural activities are limited to the grazing of about 400 sheep, which only during dry periods, visit the driest part of the mire. But few people visit the mire, only some local fisherman, and other people in september, when the cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) fructifies. Also some antennas for ship navigation have been built, which caused local damage to the vegetation. Except for the reserve part, the mire is threatened by the activities of a peat‑digging company. Large parts of the mires of Andøya have already been dug away. Another threat for the reserve might be the development of a cottage park, near the reserve.