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  • 1.
    Auffret, Alistair G.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Schmucki, Reto
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Reimark, Josefin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Cousins, Sara A. O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Grazing networks provide useful functional connectivity for plants in fragmented systems2012In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 23, no 5, p. 970-977Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Question To what extent does the movement of animals between fragmented habitat patches provide functional connectivity via endozoochorous seed dispersal? Location The Stockholm archipelago, Sweden. Methods We followed all movements of livestock between islands during one grazing season. After each movement, manure was collected and its seed content assessed through seedling emergence. Seedling data were then compared to vegetation surveys from the grazed islands with regard to functional traits. Results Light- and nitrogen-demanding locally abundant species, and those with relatively small and persistent seeds were more likely to be moved between islands. For quantitative traits, only a subset of the available trait ranges were dispersed, with extreme values left behind. Species apparently specialized to other means of dispersal emerged from the manure samples. Neither dispersed traits nor seed density changed with timing of movement, but seed richness and diversity both increased throughout the season. The subsets of endozoochorously-dispersed species in the established vegetation were more similar than non-dispersed subsets between islands linked by livestock. Conclusions Grazing networks contribute to the connectivity of the core species in the system, and could provide useful tools for grassland management in fragmented landscapes.

  • 2.
    Auffret, Alistair
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Schmucki, Reto
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Reimark, Josefin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Cousins, Sara
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    A trait-based analysis of the functional connectivity provided by mobile grazers in an island grazing system2011In: 8th IALE World Congress, Beijing 18-21 August 2011: Landscape Ecology for Sustainable Environment and Culture, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The area of species-rich semi-natural grassland in Europe has declined dramatically duringthe past two centuries. The Stockholm archipelago was once a vibrant agricultural landscape,with the movement of livestock between islands forming an extensive grazing network. Likein much of Europe, agricultural industrialisation led to most grasslands either beingabandoned to become scrub or woodland, or converted to arable fields and subsequentlyreverted to relatively species-poor pasture. The restoration of these habitats to species-richgrassland communities has been a major goal, but restoration success has often been found tobe seed or dispersal limited. In island systems, the hostility of the matrix exacerbates thisproblem, but also provides an ideal study system for investigating the dispersal of plantspecies between fragmented habitats. One management strategy has been to restart smallgrazing networks to improve connectivity in the landscape, and in the summer of 2009, wecollected fresh manure samples from grazing cattle and sheep after movement by boatbetween islands. These were then grown in a greenhouse, and 5915 seedlings of 74 speciesemerged from the 18 samples, corresponding to 18 movements within the grazing network.Comparing the species dispersed with the vegetation communities in the donor and receiverislands, we assess the subset of species and species traits which were transported. We can thusexamine the extent of the functional connectivity provided by these mobile grazers, and theeffect that timing of movement has on the range of species and traits dispersed.

  • 3.
    Reimark, Josefin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    How has time and space affected plant biodiversity in the Hjälmö-Lådna archipelago?2011Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally European farmland management has declined during the last century, mainlydue to abandonment or intensification. When traditional management is replaced by newmethods many species are negatively affected and often threatened with extinction. In thisthesis, the Stockholm archipelago is used as a platform to study the effects of land use changeover time. The overall aim is to examine how time and space affects plant biodiversity in arural landscape, with focus on heterogeneous pastures.

    Historical records and maps were interpreted together with aerial photos and used to constructfour time-layers of land use: reflecting the landscape 200 years ago, 100 years ago, 50 yearsago and present. Investigations of plant species richness was conducted in seven habitats; 1)grazed fields, 2) grazed forest edges, 3) grazed forest interior, 4) former grazed fields, 5)former grazed forest edges, 6) former grazed forest interior, and 7) historical pasture islands,on 35 islands in Hjälmö-Lådna archipelago on the east-coast of Sweden. Plant speciesrichness was measured for all plant species and for grassland specialist species at three scales:i) fine-scale diversity (α div), ii) large-scale diversity (γ div ), and iii) spatial turnover (β div).Using Structural Equation Models (SEM) the variation in species diversity and plantcommunity composition was investigated in relation to landscape context, space andmanagement history.

    The land use change in the Hjälmö-Lådna archipelago followed the general trends on themainland in Sweden and the rest of Europe with loss of traditional managed habitats, such asmeadows or wooded pastures. However, no intensification and large-scale agriculture hasdeveloped on the islands, mainly because of physical limitations, but also because ofeconomical and conservation reasons. Surprisingly, the grazing pressure on the remaininggrazed habitats had not changed notable over the last century; although the study area was notparticularly species rich (highest average was 15 species/ m2 in grazed fields). Adjacenthabitats; field and wood pasture, showed a higher similarity in community composition thanexpected compared to random pairs. Grazing and proportion of openness had a positiveinfluence on species richness and especially on grassland specialists. The variation of totaldiversity at the landscape scale was best explained by the heterogeneity of grazed forest edgesand the local species diversity in fields.

    The results from the study suggest that grazing is important also in species-poor landscapes,and that it can aid in protecting and promote species-richness also in other types of speciespoorlandscapes. To prevent further loss of biodiversity it is necessary to keep fields andforest edges open with continuous management. To maintain values of high biodiversity andculture in the archipelago it is therefore important that farmers are subsidised by EU tocontinue to grazie heterogeneous habitats and pastures with many trees.

  • 4.
    Reimark, Josefin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Cousins, Sara A O
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Land use change in Stockholm archipelago and the effect on grassland plant diversity and richness2010Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    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.

  • 5.
    Schmucki, Reto
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Reimark, Josefin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Lindborg, Regina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Cousins, Sara A. O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Landscape context and management regime structure plant diversity in grassland communities2012In: Journal of Ecology, ISSN 0022-0477, E-ISSN 1365-2745, Vol. 100, no 5, p. 1164-1173Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    1. Theoretical models show that environmental heterogeneity and dispersal are major determinants of species diversity at multiple scales, yet there are few studies from real landscapes that adequately integrate variation in the surrounding matrix. Understanding how landscape context and management influence species composition and diversity patterns across habitats and scales is an important goal in ecology with relevance for both management and conservation. 2. We used a system of 25 landscapes distributed across islands in the Baltic Sea to investigate the effect of current and historical landscape context and management on plant diversity and composition in grassland communities. Plant diversity was measured at three hierarchical scales (1 m2, habitat, landscape) in grazed fields and adjacent wood pastures to calculate a-, beta- and ?-diversity values across habitats and scales. 3. Structural equation modelling was used to model and quantify the effects of landscape context on species diversity and spatial turnover, and constraint analysis of principal coordinates to relate variation in species composition to landscape variables. 4. Proportion of open land, spacing and grazing intensity positively affected species diversity in both habitats, whereas the effect of historical landscape context was only significant in open fields. Plant diversity in field pastures was mainly determined by the number of species found at a small scale, while both local species density and spatial turnover were key determinants of diversity in wood pastures. 5. Habitat proximity influenced species composition as compositional similarity was higher between adjacent field and wood pastures compared to randomly paired habitats. Although increasing flow of propagules from adjacent patches can promote local coexistence, dispersal can result in spatial homogenization. 6. Synthesis. Plant diversity in grassland communities is substantially influenced by species occurring in adjacent habitats. While the effect of landscape context and management on small-scale diversity was consistent across habitats, the effect on spatial turnover was habitat specific. Our study shows that plant diversity is structured through the interplay between local and landscape processes and highlights that plant communities in specific habitat types cannot be considered in isolation from the surrounding landscape matrix.

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