Differences in vascular plant species richness; along the altitudinal gradient in the Aurland area of western Norway have been investigated. Based on field surveys, as complete lists as possible of all vascular plants have been compiled for each 100 m altitudinal band, from sea level to the highest mountain (1764 m). For each of the 18 altitudinal bands, climatic data have been estimated. A total of 444 vascular plant species were recorded. Highest species richness (263 species) occurred in the 600–700 in band, whereas the uppermost band had only 10 species. There are minor differences in species number between the altitudinal bands < 1000 m. Partial least squares regression shows that species richness for the overall altitudinal gradient is well predicted by mean July and January temperatures and mean annual precipitation. Species turnover is highest in the 100–200 m. 600–700 m. and 1400–1500 m altitudinal bands. In terms of the gradient in summer temperature, the study supports the generally assumed linear relationship between July temperature and the number of vascular plant species between 700 and 1500 m corresponding with a mean July temperature range of 7–11°C. The study shows a decrease of ca 30 vascular plant species with a 1°C decrease in mean July temperature, and that the “climatic vascular plant limit” is here estimated to occur at a mean July temperature of 2.4°C. Above 1500 and below 700 m. species number is lower than expected based on summer iemperature conditions alone. The 700–800 m band represents the highest floristic difference compared to the other bands. Ordination and classification analyses of the floristic compositional data of all the bands highlight the 600–800 and 1500–1600 m altitudinal bands as the major biotic boundaries along the gradient. No major discontinuity in species richness, composition, or turnover was consistently found, however, at the 1100–1200 m band representing the forest-limit ecotone in Aurland.