Alvar

:"This article is about the landform. For the Tamil saints, see Alvars; for the village in Armenia, see Alvar, Armenia."

An alvar or pavement barren is a biological environment based on a limestone plain with thin or no soil and, as a result, sparse vegetation. In the United Kingdom this landform is called a limestone pavement. This challenging habitat supports a community of rare plants and animals, including species more commonly found on prairie grasslands. Lichen and mosses are common species. Trees and bushes are absent or severely stunted. Alvars can be found in southern Sweden, northwest Estonia and around the Great Lakes in Michigan, New York and Ohio in the United States and in Ontario and Quebec in Canada. Alvars comprise a small percentage of the Earth's ecosystems by land extent; although, some 120 exist in the Great Lakes region, they comprise only 0.2% of the land area there.

In North America, alvars provide habitat for birds such as Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, Upland Sandpipers, Eastern Towhees, Brown Thrashers and Loggerhead Shrikes whose habitat is declining elsewhere. Rare plants include northern bog violet, balsam squaw-weed, Kalm's lobelia, Pringle's aster, Juniper sedge ("Carex juniperorum"), Lakeside daisy ("Hymenoxys acaulis"), Ram's-head Lady's-slipper ("Cypripedium arietinum") and Dwarf Lake Iris ("Iris lacustris"). Also associated with alvars are rare butterflies and snails.

The use of the word "alvar" to refer to this type of environment originated in Scandinavia. The largest alvar in Europe is located on the Swedish island of Öland. Here the thin soil mantle is only .5 to 2.0 centimeters thick in most places and in many extents consists of exposed limestone slabs [C.M. Hogan, "The Stora Alvaret on Öland", Lumina Technologies, Santa Rosa, Ca. July 21, 2006] ["The countryside of eastern Smaland", ed. by Markus Forslund, Kalmarsund, Tryck (1999) ISBN 91-630-7610-1] . The landscape there has been designated a UNESCO World heritage site.

European alvar locations

*Sweden
**ÖlandStora Alvaret – largest alvar extent in Europe
**Gotland
**Västergötland – several locations on limestone mountain Kinnekulle, smaller fragments on Falbygden, e.g. in Dala and Högstena parishes.
*Estonia
** Alvars are distributed along the whole northern cost of Estonia from approx. the town of Paldiski to Sillamäe, wherever limestone comes to the surface near the seashore (see Baltic Klint), as well as on the islands of the West Estonian Archipelago.
*England
**Cumbria and North Yorkshire - under protection in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan

North American alvar locations

*Lake Erie
**Kelley's Island, Ohio - North Shore Alvar State Nature Preserve [http://www.ohiodnr.com/dnap/location/alvar.htm]
**Marblehead, Ohio - mostly destroyed by limestone quarrying
**Pelee Island, Ontario - Stone Road Alvar Nature Reserve [http://www.ontarionature.org/enviroandcons/reserves/res_stone_road_alvar.html]
*Lake Huron
**Maxton Plains Proposed Natural Area, Drummond Island, Michigan [http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10367_11854-54020--,00.html]
**Belanger Bay Alvar, Manitoulin Island, Ontario [http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/csb/news/oct19nr99.html]
**Quarry Bay Nature Reserve, Manitoulin Island, Ontario [http://www.ontarionature.org/enviroandcons/reserves/res_quarry.html]
**Bruce Alvar Nature Reserve, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario [http://www.ontarionature.org/enviroandcons/reserves/res_bruce_alvar.html]
**Baptise Harbour Nature Reserve, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario [http://www.ontarionature.org/enviroandcons/reserves/res_baptist.html]
*Lake Ontario
**Carden Plain Alvar, City of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario [http://www.couchconservancy.ca/cameronranch.htm]
**Chaumont Barrens Preserve, New York [http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/newyork/preserves/art11823.html]
**Three Mile Creek Barrens, New York
**Near Almonte Ontario, particularly extensive and diverse according to Nature Conservancy of Canada
**Balsam Lake Indian Point Provincial Park, Ontario [http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/indi.html]
*Quebec
**Aylmer [http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/city/story.html?id=fa6a428a-57da-45bd-8294-1fffa571f628]

ee also

* Limestone pavement

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Álvar — Alvar (homonymie) Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Alvar peut faire référence à : Les Alvar, poètes indiens des VIe siècle et IXe siècle ; Prénom Le prénom Alvar est… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Álvar — Alvar und Álvar sind männliche Vornamen. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Namenstag 3 Varianten 4 Bekannte Namensträger 5 Einzelnachweise …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alvar — steht für: Alvar (Armenien), ein Dorf in Armenien Alvar (Hinduismus), eine Gruppe hinduistischer Hymnendichter Alvar (Landform), baumloses, für Landwirtschaft ungeeignetes Land Alvar (Vorname), männlicher Vorname Diese …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alvar — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Alvar hace referencia a: Alvar Aalto: arquitecto y urbanista finlandés. Manuel Alvar: filólogo español. Alvares: doce poetas vishnuistas de los siglos VII al X. Obtenido de Alvar Categoría: Wikipedia:Desambiguación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Alvar — Alvar, 1) Bergfestung, s. u. Mewat; 2) so v.w. Alvaren …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Alvar — m English: from a medieval English name, representing an Old English personal name, Ælfhere, composed of the elements ælf elf, supernatural being + here army, warrior. In modern use it is either a revival of this (or a transferred use of the… …   First names dictionary

  • ALVAR — Les face= EU Domacr 賈v r («Plongés» en Dieu) sont des poètes tamouls du sud de l’Inde, révérés comme saints, auteurs de poèmes de dévotion à Vi ルユu, et dont le groupe fait pendant au groupe des dévots de えiva, les Nayanm r. Les transports de la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • alvar — adj. 2 g. 1. Alvacento e mole. 2. Aparvalhado. 3. Que amadurece cedo. • s. m. 4. Parvo; boçal …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • Alvar — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Alvar (homonymie). Les Alvar (tamoul : ஆழ்வார்கள்), « ceux qui sont immergés en Dieu », étaient des saints et poètes tamouls de l Inde du Sud, qui vivaient entre les VIe et IXe siècles en… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alvar — Provenance. Vient de Alvar. Etymologie tamoule. Signifie: les profonds Fête indéterminée. Histoire. Ce nom désigne un groupe de douze saints adorateurs de Vishnou, poêtes vivants en Inde entre le VIème siècle et le 11ème siècles. Personnages… …   Dictionnaire des prénoms français, arabes et bretons

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