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Super-regional land-use change and effects on the grassland specialist flora
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; University of York, UK.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Södertörn University, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9180-2994
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 9, article id 3464Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Habitat loss through land-use change is the most pressing threat to biodiversity worldwide. European semi-natural grasslands have suffered an ongoing decline since the early twentieth century, but we have limited knowledge of how grassland loss has affected biodiversity across large spatial scales. We quantify land-use change over 50-70 years across a 175,000 km(2) super-region in southern Sweden, identifying a widespread loss of open cover and a homogenisation of landscape structure, although these patterns vary considerably depending on the historical composition of the landscape. Analysing species inventories from 46,796 semi-natural grasslands, our results indicate that habitat loss and degradation have resulted in a decline in grassland specialist plant species. Local factors are the best predictors of specialist richness, but the historical landscape predicts present-day richness better than the contemporary landscape. This supports the widespread existence of time-lagged biodiversity responses, indicating that further species losses could occur in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 9, article id 3464
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160076DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05991-yISI: 000442790100015PubMedID: 30150739OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160076DiVA, id: diva2:1251831
Available from: 2018-09-28 Created: 2018-09-28 Last updated: 2018-09-28Bibliographically approved

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Auffret, Alistair G.Kimberley, AdamPlue, JanWaldén, Emelie
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