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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.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Cadastral map from 1900 over an area of a 1652 km2 study area compared with the corresponding digitized version and the map from 2013. Names, borders, roads, railway lines, and other linear objects were not included in the digitized version of the cadastral map. The colors in the original map have been changed in the digitized version to increase readability, thus the legend applies to the digitized maps only. Dashed lines indicate those areas we interpreted as wood pasture for analysis. The map from 2013 is based on the Swedish Lantmäteriet’s terrain map, overlaid with areas of semi-natural grassland from the Swedish government’s survey of semi-natural pastures and meadows
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Fig2: Cadastral map from 1900 over an area of a 1652 km2 study area compared with the corresponding digitized version and the map from 2013. Names, borders, roads, railway lines, and other linear objects were not included in the digitized version of the cadastral map. The colors in the original map have been changed in the digitized version to increase readability, thus the legend applies to the digitized maps only. Dashed lines indicate those areas we interpreted as wood pasture for analysis. The map from 2013 is based on the Swedish Lantmäteriet’s terrain map, overlaid with areas of semi-natural grassland from the Swedish government’s survey of semi-natural pastures and meadows

Mentions: Old cadastral maps (in Swedish Häradskartan) at a scale of 1:50 000 from 1897–1901 (hereafter 1900) were digitized as a GIS vector layer (10.1007/s13280-014-0585-9). These old maps were economical maps showing land use, land cover, and ownership. The most important land uses at this time were crop fields and meadows, although forest, pastures, lakes, roads, dwellings, and other features were also mapped (Fig. 2). The rectification was carried out with a first polynomial transformation, and a total of 16 maps were used to cover the study area. The maps have a high resolution and accuracy (Jansson 1993), but there are small irregularities when transforming them, for example along the edges of each map when these are joined. Following rectification, the different land covers were manually digitized. To increase coverage, we also included previously digitized maps which were directly adjacent to the study area (e.g., Cousins and Vanhoenacker 2011). The digitized GIS layer included all the land-cover types (polygons) shown on the map, but linear and point features such as roads and place names were not digitized.Fig. 2


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

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

Cadastral map from 1900 over an area of a 1652 km2 study area compared with the corresponding digitized version and the map from 2013. Names, borders, roads, railway lines, and other linear objects were not included in the digitized version of the cadastral map. The colors in the original map have been changed in the digitized version to increase readability, thus the legend applies to the digitized maps only. Dashed lines indicate those areas we interpreted as wood pasture for analysis. The map from 2013 is based on the Swedish Lantmäteriet’s terrain map, overlaid with areas of semi-natural grassland from the Swedish government’s survey of semi-natural pastures and meadows
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4288995&req=5

Fig2: Cadastral map from 1900 over an area of a 1652 km2 study area compared with the corresponding digitized version and the map from 2013. Names, borders, roads, railway lines, and other linear objects were not included in the digitized version of the cadastral map. The colors in the original map have been changed in the digitized version to increase readability, thus the legend applies to the digitized maps only. Dashed lines indicate those areas we interpreted as wood pasture for analysis. The map from 2013 is based on the Swedish Lantmäteriet’s terrain map, overlaid with areas of semi-natural grassland from the Swedish government’s survey of semi-natural pastures and meadows
Mentions: Old cadastral maps (in Swedish Häradskartan) at a scale of 1:50 000 from 1897–1901 (hereafter 1900) were digitized as a GIS vector layer (10.1007/s13280-014-0585-9). These old maps were economical maps showing land use, land cover, and ownership. The most important land uses at this time were crop fields and meadows, although forest, pastures, lakes, roads, dwellings, and other features were also mapped (Fig. 2). The rectification was carried out with a first polynomial transformation, and a total of 16 maps were used to cover the study area. The maps have a high resolution and accuracy (Jansson 1993), but there are small irregularities when transforming them, for example along the edges of each map when these are joined. Following rectification, the different land covers were manually digitized. To increase coverage, we also included previously digitized maps which were directly adjacent to the study area (e.g., Cousins and Vanhoenacker 2011). The digitized GIS layer included all the land-cover types (polygons) shown on the map, but linear and point features such as roads and place names were not digitized.Fig. 2

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.


Related in: MedlinePlus