Land use change in Stockholm archipelago and the effect on grassland plant diversity and richness
2010 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
200 years of land use change and the relationship to present plant species richness was investigated on island in the Stockholm archipelago. The aim with the study is to explore how land use over time, especially grazing, affects richness today and in the future. The study area encompasses a rural landscape with long continuity of farming where on three of the larger islands four farmers are still active. It also includes the smaller so-called satellite islands belonging to the farms. Land cover and land use change was interpreted from maps and aerial photos creating four time-layers in a GIS (17-1800s, 1900s, 1950es and present-day). In 2009 plant species occurrence was measured on 36 islands with focus on grazed and non-grazed fields and surrounding forests. In each habitat plant occurrence was measured in 10 plots (1m2) as well as total species occurrence. The most substantial changes in land cover are a decline in semi-open forest, meadows and mid-field islets. Instead there is an increase in the number of houses and gardens and dense forest. 100 years ago there were 25 farms in the area. Grazed open habitat was most species rich with a mean of 15 species /m2. The results show that grazing is an essential part in maintaining species richness. However, by keeping areas open by clearing trees and shrubs can also slow down the extinction of grassland plant species.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
land use change, historical landscape, biodiversity
Research subject Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49626OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-49626DiVA: diva2:378699
40th Anniversary Conference "The Future of Biodiversity: Genes, Species, Ecosystems", Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, 30th August - 3rd September 2010