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Local plant species diversity in coastal grasslands in the Stockholm archipelago: The effect of isostatic land-uplift, different management and future sea level rise
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Växtdiversitet på strandängar i Stockholms skärgård : Effekt av landhöjning, olika hävdmetoder och framtida havsnivåhöjningar (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Semi-natural grasslands with traditional management are known to be very species-rich, with many plant species strongly associated with the habitat. The last century’s decline of semi-natural grasslands, as a result of land use change and abandonment, has made the remaining semi-natural grassland a high concern for conservation. Since management can be costly and the available resources often are limited, it is important to use the most beneficial management method for preserving and enhancing the biodiversity. One semi-natural grassland type of certain interest around the Baltic region are coastal grasslands. In this study, I investigated vascular plant species occurrence in ten managed coastal grasslands located in the Stockholm archipelago. The effect of recent land-uplift and future sea level rise on the ten coastal grasslands were analyzed as well. A major part of all ten grasslands had been subjected to the process of isostatic land-uplift the past 100 years. Five of the grasslands were currently managed by grazing and the other five were managed by traditional mowing. There was no significant difference in alpha and gamma diversity between the two management types. Though, higher biodiversity values, such as more different species found in total, higher amount of species typically linked to meadows and pastures, less succession species and more red-listed species, were found in the traditionally mowed grasslands. Furthermore, a sea level rise with 40 cm the next 100 years in the region would lead to loss of plant species diversity in the investigated coastal grasslands. One major concern is the limited areas upwards on the coastal grasslands for species to migrate to in the future, which is expected to primarily affect species associated with meadows and pastures. The study highlights the importance of open and managed grassland areas further up the coastal grasslands for local species to migrate to, if the sea level would rise as predicted by future climate scenarios. Albeit weak the results of this study indicate that traditional mowing generates higher biodiversity values compared to grazing, hence it should be the preferred management method in coastal grasslands in the Stockholm archipelago.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 33
Keyword [en]
Coastal grasslands, Plant species diversity, Stockholm archipelago, Isostatic land-uplift, Sea level rise, Landscape ecology, Traditional management, Grazing, Traditional mowing, Semi-natural grasslands
National Category
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-151335OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-151335DiVA, id: diva2:1172625
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Available from: 2018-01-10 Created: 2018-01-10 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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