The carbon dioxide exchange in arctic and subarctic terrestrial ecosystems has been measured using the eddy-covariance method at sites representing the latitudinal and longitudinal extremes of the European Arctic sea areas as part of the Land Arctic Physical Processes (LAPP) project. The sites include two fen (Kaamanen and Kevo) and one mountain birch ecosystems in subarctic northern Finland (69°N) fen, heathland, and snowbed willow ecosystems in northeastern Greenland (74°N) and a polar semidesert site in Svalbard (79°N). The measurement results, which are given as weekly average diurnal cycles, show the striking seasonal development of the net CO2 fluxes. The seasonal periods important for the net CO2 fluxes, i.e. winter, thaw, pre-leaf, summer, and autumn can be identified from measurements of the physical environment, such as temperature, albedo, and greenness. During the late winter period continuous efflux is observed at the permafrost-free Kaamanen site. At the permafrost sites, efflux begins during the thaw period, which lasts about 3-5 weeks, in contrast to the Kaamanen site where efflux continues at the same rate as during the winter. Seasonal efflux maximum is during the pre-leaf period, which lasts about 2-5 weeks. The summer period lasts 6 weeks in NE Greenland but 10-14 weeks in northern Finland. During a high summer week, the mountain birch ecosystem had the highest gross photosynthetic capacity, GPmax, followed by the fen ecosystems. The polar semidesert ecosystem had the lowest GPmax. By the middle of August, noon uptake fluxes start to decrease as the solar elevation angle decreases and senescence begins within the vascular plants. At the end of the autumn period, which lasts 2-5 weeks, topsoil begins to freeze at the end of August in Svalbard; at the end of September at sites in eastern Greenland; and one month later at sites in northern Finland.