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Plant species response to land-use change - Campanula rotundifolia, Primula veris and Rhinanthus minor
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
2005 (English)In: Ecography, ISSN 0906-7590, E-ISSN 1600-0587, Vol. 28, no 1, 29-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Land use change is a crucial driver behind species loss at the landscape scale. Hence, from a conservation perspective, species response to habitat degradation or improvement of habitat quality, is important to examine. By using indicator species it may be possible to monitor long-term survival of local populations associated with land use change. In this study we examined three potential indicator (response) species for species richness and composition in Scandinavian semi-natural grassland communities: Campanula rotundifolia, Primula veris and Rhinanthus minor. With field inventories and experiments we examined their response to present land use, habitat degradation and improvement of local habitat quality. At the time scale examined, C. rotundifolia was the only species responding to both habitat degradation and improvement of habitat quality. Neither R. minor nor P. veris responded positively to habitat improvements although both responded rapidly to direct negative changes in habitat quality. Even though C. rotundifolia responded quickly to habitat degradation, it did not disappear completely from the sites. Instead, the population structure changed in terms of decreased population size and flowering frequency. It also showed an ability to form remnant populations which may increase resilience of local habitats. Although P. veris and especially R. minor responded rapidly to negative environmental changes and may be useful as early indicators of land use change, it is desirable that indicators respond to both degradation and improvement of habitat quality. Thus, C. rotundifolia is a better response species for monitoring effects of land use change and conservation measures, provided that both local and regional population dynamics are monitored over a long time period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 28, no 1, 29-36 p.
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22648DOI: 10.1111/j.0906-7590.2005.03989.xISI: 000227143500003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-22648DiVA: diva2:189213
Note

Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102

Available from: 2004-04-15 Created: 2004-04-15 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Land Use Change in Space and Time: implications for plant species conservation in semi-natural grasslands
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Land Use Change in Space and Time: implications for plant species conservation in semi-natural grasslands
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Land use change has during the last century altered the traditional rural landscape in Sweden, resulting in a major decline in species diversity. Traditional small-scale farming, with a remarkably high small-scale species richness, has changed in favour of rationalized agriculture, and many semi-natural grasslands, i.e. traditionally managed pastures and meadows, have become abandoned. In this thesis I examine how spatio-temporal processes affect plant species in Swedish semi-natural grasslands exposed to habitat degradation as well as recovery (restoration). I also discuss how to conserve plant species associated with semi-natural grasslands.

In general, species responded slowly to habitat degradation, but quickly to improvement of habitat quality. Population viability analysis (PVA) of the grazing favoured herb Primula farinosa suggested, in contrast to historical records, that populations in abandoned grasslands performed better than populations in traditionally managed grasslands, a result questioning the accuracy of PVAs. Restoration of grasslands counteracted species richness decline and the number of species increased within seven years after restoration. It was possible to recruit grassland species in grazed former arable fields by artificial seed-sowing. This may help to speed up the natural recruitment, which often is low due to dispersal limitations in modern fragmented landscapes.

Studies at larger regional scales showed century long time-lags in the response of plant species richness to land use change. Species richness was not related to present-day connectivity of grasslands, but positive effects appeared for grassland configuration in 1950s and 1900s. Thus, making conservation guidelines based solely on present-day data may be strongly misleading and under-estimate the actual risk of species loss. To secure long-term survival of species, it is important to focus on processes associated with larger spatial scales. This may benefit natural dynamics at longer time-scales, where abandoned and restored grasslands, together with species-rich semi-natural grasslands, could become natural parts of sustainable landscape management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Botaniska institutionen, 2004. 120 p.
Keyword
diversity, management, restoration, landscape, history, Population viability analysis, seed-sowing, Primula farinosa, Campanula rotundifolia, grazing, fragmentation, extinction risk
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102 (URN)91-7265-825-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-05-07, föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-04-15 Created: 2004-04-15Bibliographically approved

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