Regional-scale land-cover change during the 20th century and its consequences for biodiversity
2015 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, Vol. 44, s17-S27 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Extensive changes in land cover during the 20th century are known to have had detrimental effects on biodiversity in rural landscapes, but the magnitude of change and their ecological effects are not well known on regional scales. We digitized historical maps from the beginning of the 20th century over a 1652 km(2) study area in southeastern Sweden, comparing it to modern-day land cover with a focus on valuable habitat types. Semi-natural grassland cover decreased by over 96 % in the study area, being largely lost to afforestation and silviculture. Grasslands on finer soils were more likely to be converted into modern grassland or arable fields. However, in addition to remaining semi-natural grassland, today's valuable deciduous forest and wetland habitats were mostly grazed grassland in 1900. An analysis of the landscape-level biodiversity revealed that plant species richness was generally more related to the modern landscape, with grazing management being a positive influence on species richness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 44, s17-S27 p.
Habitat fragmentation, Historical ecology, Historical maps, Landscape change, Semi-natural grasslands, Species richness
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114247DOI: 10.1007/s13280-014-0585-9ISI: 000347680100003PubMedID: 25576277OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-114247DiVA: diva2:798402