Frauke Hofmeister

Senior Engineer

(+47) 476 80 382

Ås O43

Visiting address
Oluf Thesens vei 43, 1433 Ås


The coastal heath region along the western coast of Norway, dominated by Calluna vulgaris, is undergoing rapid change. Vegetation changes are caused by changes in management, including reduced frequency or abandonment of periodic heath burning and reduced cutting and grazing. The islands of Froan, in the outermost part of Sør-Trøndelag County in mid-western Norway, are dominated by coastal heath in a state of recession due to reduced traditional land use. The coastal heath is acknowledged as vulnerable and valuable by national environmental authorities, and local landscape management is supported by different national subsidies. The authors mapped the vegetation on Froan and used rule-based GIS-modelling to predict the relative potential for future vegetation changes. The model was based on a range of map layers, including management themes such as history of heath burning and peat removal, current practices of sheep grazing, and also themes derived from the vegetation map, such as soil nutrients, soil moisture and present management status. The resulting model output provides relative probabilities of future changes under different land-use scenarios, and highlights where management efforts should be focused in order to maintain the traditional landscape character.