Political Systems Affect Mobile and Sessile Species Diversity - A Legacy from the Post-WWII Period
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 8, e103367- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Political ideologies, policies and economy affect land use which in turn may affect biodiversity patterns and future conservation targets. However, few studies have investigated biodiversity in landscapes with similar physical properties but governed by different political systems. Here we investigate land use and biodiversity patterns, and number and composition of birds and plants, in the borderland of Austria, Slovenia and Hungary. It is a physically uniform landscape but managed differently during the last 70 years as a consequence of the political map of Europe after World War I and II. We used a historical map from 1910 and satellite data to delineate land use within three 10-kilometre transects starting from the point where the three countries meet. There was a clear difference between countries detectable in current biodiversity patterns, which relates to land use history. Mobile species richness was associated with current land use whereas diversity of sessile species was more associated with past land use. Heterogeneous landscapes were positively and forest cover was negatively correlated to bird species richness. Our results provide insights into why landscape history is important to understand present and future biodiversity patterns, which is crucial for designing policies and conservation strategies across the world.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 8, e103367- p.
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107013DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103367ISI: 000339819800034OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107013DiVA: diva2:743861