Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland
Bryophytes are prominent in the vegetation of the northern hemisphere. In Iceland their role is especially important in the volcanic belt west of Vatnajökull ice cap, the largest glacier in Europe. In summer 2015 Gagarin in collaboration with Kría Benediktsdóttir designed an exhibition on the volcanic zone near Laki and on the bryophytes which adapt to that rough lava environment. The research and scientific information disseminated in the exhibition was carried out by Snorri Baldursson.
About 12,500 species of bryophytes are known in the world. In Iceland 606 species of bryophytes have been recorded, which corresponds to about 5% of the world’s known number. This is a high figure compared to flowering plants, of which there are about 400,000 species in the world but only 452 (0.1%) in Iceland.