The Stora Alvaret is a limestone barren plain on the island of Öland, Sweden. Because of the thin soil mantle and high pH levels, a great assortment of vegetation is found including numerous rare species. Stora Alvaret has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its extraordinary biodiversity and prehistory. The area of this formation exceeds 260 km², making it the largest such expanse in Europe and comprising over one fourth of the land area of the island. Stora Alvaret is not devoid of trees, contrary to a common misconception; in fact, it holds a variety of sparse stunted trees akin to a pygmy forest. The Stora Alvaret, sometimes called the Great Alvar, is a dagger shaped expanse almost 40 kilometers long and about 10 kilometers at the widest north end.
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