The effect of local land-use changes on floristic diversity during the past 1000 years in southern Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The relationship between land-use and floristic diversity in the landscape, for the last millennia, is analysed from two small lakes in southern Sweden. Pollen analysis and the Local Vegetation Estimates (LOVE) model are used to quantify land-cover at local scales with 100-year time windows. Floristic richness is estimated using palynological richness, and we introduce LOVE-based evenness as a proxy for floristic evenness on a local scale based on the LOVE output. The results reveal a dynamic land-use pattern, with agricultural expansion during the 13th century, a partly abandoned landscape around AD 1400, re-establishment during the 15th–17th centuries and a transition from traditional to modern land-use during the 20th century. We suggest that the more heterogeneous landscape and the more dynamic land-use during the 13th–19th centuries were of substantial importance for achieving the high floristic diversity that characterises the traditional landscape. Pollen-based studies of this type are helpful in identifying landscape characteristics and land-use practices that are important for floristic diversity and may therefore guide the development of ecosystem management strategies aiming at mitigating the on-going loss of species seen in the landscape of southern Sweden and many other regions worldwide.


External organisations
  • University of Stavanger
  • University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès
  • Swedish Museum of Natural History
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
  • Ecology


  • ecosystem management, floristic diversity, land-use changes, late-Holocene, Local Vegetation Estimates model, pollen analysis, southern Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-711
Number of pages18
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch