Historical land-use and landscape change in southern Sweden and implications for present and future biodiversity

Qiao-Yu Cui, Marie-Jose Gaillard, Geoffrey Lemdahl, Li Stenberg, Shinya Sugita, Ganna Zernova

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review

38 Citeringar (SciVal)


The two major aims of this study are (1) To test the performance of the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) to quantify past landscape changes using historical maps and related written sources, and (2) to use the LRA and map reconstructions for a better understanding of the origin of landscape diversity and the recent loss of species diversity. Southern Sweden, hemiboreal vegetation zone. The LRA was applied on pollen records from three small bogs for four time windows between AD 1700 and 2010. The LRA estimates of % cover for woodland/forest, grassland, wetland, and cultivated land were compared with those extracted from historical maps within 3-km radius around each bog. Map-extracted land-use categories and pollen-based LRA estimates (in % cover) of the same land-use categories show a reasonable agreement in several cases; when they do not agree, the assumptions used in the data (maps)-model (LRA) comparison are a better explanation of the discrepancies between the two than possible biases of the LRA modeling approach. Both the LRA reconstructions and the historical maps reveal between-site differences in landscape characteristics through time, but they demonstrate comparable, profound transformations of the regional and local landscapes over time and space due to the agrarian reforms in southern Sweden during the 18th and 19th centuries. The LRA was found to be the most reasonable approach so far to reconstruct quantitatively past landscape changes from fossil pollen data. The existing landscape diversity in the region at the beginning of the 18th century had its origin in the long-term regional and local vegetation and land-use history over millennia. Agrarian reforms since the 18th century resulted in a dramatic loss of landscape diversity and evenness in both time and space over the last two centuries leading to a similarly dramatic loss of species (e.g., beetles).
Sidor (från-till)3555-3570
TidskriftEcology and Evolution
StatusPublished - 2014

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Naturgeografi


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