South of the Arctic circle they are, under ordinary circumstances, confined to the plateaus covered with dwarf birch and juniper above the conifer-region, though in Tromso amt and in Finmarken they occur in all suitable localities down to the level of the sea.
The chief home of the Coniferales is in the northern hemisphere, where certain species occasionally extend into the Arctic circle and penetrate beyond the northern limit of dicotyledon ous trees.
South of the Arctic Circle the greater part of the country is covered with forests, intermingled with lakes and morasses, though in places there is excellent pasturage.
The white hares, however, of Russia, Siberia and other regions in the Arctic circle are very largely used in the cheaper trade of Europe, America and the British colonies.
The elk, carefully preserved, haunts the lonely forests from the Arctic Circle even to the Smaland highlands.
Even within the Arctic Circle they are in many localities abundant and excessively bloodthirsty during the short summer.
The environment in the Arctic Circle is more hostile.
When its vast area stretching from the international boundary to beyond the Arctic circle is opened up, it may be expected to prove the counterpart of the great mining region of the Cordillera in the United States to the south.
As a straggler it has occurred within the Arctic Circle (as on the Varanger Fjord in Norway), as well as in Iceland and even Greenland; while it not unfrequently appears in Madeira and the Azores.
The habit of forming mycorhizas is found more frequently in warm climates than cold; indeed, the percentage of the flora exhibiting this peculiarity seems to increase with a certain regularity from the Arctic Circle to the equator.