Limits...
Regional-scale land-cover change during the 20th century and its consequences for biodiversity.

Cousins SA, Auffret AG, Lindgren J, Tränk L - Ambio (2015)

Bottom Line: 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.Semi-natural grassland cover decreased by over 96 % in the study area, being largely lost to afforestation and silviculture.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Biogeography and Geomatics, Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden, sara.cousins@natgeo.su.se.

ABSTRACT
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.

No MeSH data available.


Map showing location of the study area used for a regional-scale analysis of land-cover change between 1900 and 2013
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Fig1: Map showing location of the study area used for a regional-scale analysis of land-cover change between 1900 and 2013

Mentions: Our analysis is based on a study area covering 1652 km2 (midpoint 59°00′N, 17°11′E) in Södermanland (also known as Sörmland) county stretching from the Baltic coast in the south-east of the county towards the shores of lake Mälaren (Fig. 1). This region has been the basis of much grassland and historical ecological research during the past decade and is currently the subject of a transdisciplinary research program. The regional mean temperature for January is −4, and 16 °C for July, with a mean annual precipitation of 600 mm. The topography ranges from the Baltic Sea level to higher land with maximum altitude of 85 m. Forest, arable land, and lakes constitute the main part of the landscape today. The landscape has a long tradition of livestock grazing and haymaking.Fig. 1


Regional-scale land-cover change during the 20th century and its consequences for biodiversity.

Cousins SA, Auffret AG, Lindgren J, Tränk L - Ambio (2015)

Map showing location of the study area used for a regional-scale analysis of land-cover change between 1900 and 2013
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4288995&req=5

Fig1: Map showing location of the study area used for a regional-scale analysis of land-cover change between 1900 and 2013
Mentions: Our analysis is based on a study area covering 1652 km2 (midpoint 59°00′N, 17°11′E) in Södermanland (also known as Sörmland) county stretching from the Baltic coast in the south-east of the county towards the shores of lake Mälaren (Fig. 1). This region has been the basis of much grassland and historical ecological research during the past decade and is currently the subject of a transdisciplinary research program. The regional mean temperature for January is −4, and 16 °C for July, with a mean annual precipitation of 600 mm. The topography ranges from the Baltic Sea level to higher land with maximum altitude of 85 m. Forest, arable land, and lakes constitute the main part of the landscape today. The landscape has a long tradition of livestock grazing and haymaking.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: 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.Semi-natural grassland cover decreased by over 96 % in the study area, being largely lost to afforestation and silviculture.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Biogeography and Geomatics, Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden, sara.cousins@natgeo.su.se.

ABSTRACT
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.

No MeSH data available.