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Assessing changes in plant distribution patterns - indicator species versus plant functional types
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2004 (English)In: Ecological Indicators, ISSN 1470-160X, E-ISSN 1872-7034, Vol. 4, no 1, 17-27 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To meet conservation goals it is necessary to assess vegetation status and to be able to monitor effects of management and environmental change. In northern Europe grazed grasslands are one of the most threatened habitat in the rural landscape and thus in focus for conservation plans. At present managers use species indicator list to assess past and present management status of grassland and succession stages in particular, as well as effects of the environment. However, these indicators have rarely been scientifically tested. In this study we discuss if plant functional traits may be a key to select suitable indicator species for monitoring land-use change in Swedish rural landscape. The suitability of two possible monitoring tools: (i) plant species selected from functional traits (PFTs) and (ii) indicator species commonly used today to assess grassland management status, were tested along two gradients, a succession gradient and a wetness gradient. We found no association between successional change and plant functional traits, but a response in plant functional traits was found along the wetness gradient. However, the more common non-scientific indicator species responded fairly well to the varying gradient categories along both gradients. We believe that there is a need to further validate the ecological mechanisms behind the present-day indicators and to place them in a geographical context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 4, no 1, 17-27 p.
Keyword [en]
biodiversity, grassland succession, land-use change, monitoring, Sweden, wetness gradient
National Category
Ecology Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-90490DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2003.11.002ISI: 000224029500002OAI: diva2:626665


Available from: 2013-06-10 Created: 2013-06-05 Last updated: 2013-06-10Bibliographically approved

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Cousins, Sara A. O.Lindborg, Regina
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