Mell­da­la natu­re reser­ve is loca­ted below Billingen’s limesto­ne pla­teau. Seve­ral natu­ral well­springs emer­ge direct­ly from the limesto­ne, and in the springs and fens the alka­li­ne water cre­a­tes tufa.

Tufa is a white or yel­lowish porous rock that con­si­sts of cal­ci­um car­bo­na­te. It is for­med when water dis­sol­ves cal­ci­um as it flows through cal­ca­re­ous rock. As the alka­li­ne water reaches the sur­fa­ce, cal­ci­um car­bo­na­te is pre­ci­pi­ta­ted. The pre­ci­pi­ta­te can encapsu­la­te plants and other mate­ri­als that hap­pen to be in its path. When the­re is much pre­ci­pi­ta­tion, it will cre­a­te tufa and it may con­tain plant parts and other objects. This pro­cess shows us how fos­sils are cre­a­ted. When the bio­lo­gi­cal mate­ri­al has disap­pe­a­red, the imprints are left as cavi­ti­es in the tufa. The­se imprints are often very detai­led, and stu­di­es of plant imprints in tufa have been of gre­at impor­tan­ce to our understan­ding of how our flo­ra wan­de­red in.

The alka­li­ne soil pro­vi­des con­di­tions for a rich flo­ra. Herbs thriving here inclu­de yel­low wood ane­mo­ne, pale wood vio­let, and wild gar­lic. Mell­da­la is also home to an inte­re­s­ting moss and lichen flo­ra. For examp­le, you can find the rare tufa-moss. The Bil­ling­en Trail runs through the reser­ve, which you can reach eit­her by wal­king from Högs­bo­la mea­dows to the north or from Sil­ver­fal­let to the south.

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Mell­da­la is a natu­re reser­ve.