Life on the river bank

On gravelly river banks in Iceland you often find Creeping Bent (Agrostis stolonifera) and Alpine Fireweed (Epilobium latifolium). Whereas in river bank succession where there is less flooding, there is an increasing proportion of grasses and forbs characteristic of drier habitat. On sandy river banks you find Arctic Rush (Juncus arcticus), Viviparous Fescue (Festuca vivipara), Silverweed (Potentilla anserina), and the occasional Sea Pea (Lathyrus japonicus). The fertility of land is often enhanced on river banks, the damp soils containing abundant minerals and organic material. Along river banks and their tributarites you often find good habitat for the Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) and wading bird such as Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula), and Arctic Skua (Stercorarius paras).

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