Responses in floral diversity and distributions to changes in land use and climate

Project leader

Funding source

Formas - The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2016
End date: 31/12/2018
Funding: 3704536 SEK


Despite the huge value of biodiversity to humans, our actions are having large and detrimental effects on ecological systems worldwide. Land-use change reduces the size and quality of available habitat for many organisms, while a warming climate is forcing species to move to higher latitudes and altitudes or face extinction. The introduction of non-native species to new regions is thought by many to pose another serious threat to native species. It is clearly in society´s best interest to understand how human-driven environmental changes affect ecological systems, and the one of the best ways of doing that is through studying the effects of changes in the past. Unfortunately, such historical information often not available. This project will use reliable plant species occurrence data from the beginning and end of the 20th century in four Swedish provinces covering an area of 25 000 km2 over a 700 km latitudinal gradient. Combined together with historical and present day maps and climate data, I will investigate changes in plant species diversity and distributions and ecosystem functioning during the 20th century, evaluating the direct and indirect influences of human activity in determining vegetation dynamics. In doing this, the important factors contributing to present-diversity can be identified and used to aid the management of landscapes for present-day conservation and resilience to future environmental change.

Last updated on 2017-07-08 at 11:09