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Change in surface area of semi-natural grassland in the Osby municipality, Scania and potential consequences for plant diversity

Borgström-Lohde, Katharina LU (2021) In Student thesis series INES NGEK01 20211
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
During the past, land use has changed and still is. It has been recognized that land use changes affect biodiversity all over the world. In Sweden semi-natural grasslands are a habitat with high biodiversity. The topic of this thesis is how land use change has affected the habitat of semi-natural grasslands in the area around Osby, Scania. For that purpose, semi-natural grasslands in a historical map from 1926-34 were digitalised and compared with the latest data to see if the size of the grassland has changed and if there was a loss of the previous semi-natural grasslands.
Even though there is a larger area of grasslands found in the area today, there was a decrease of continuous grasslands by 84.8% between 1926-34 and the latest data.... (More)
During the past, land use has changed and still is. It has been recognized that land use changes affect biodiversity all over the world. In Sweden semi-natural grasslands are a habitat with high biodiversity. The topic of this thesis is how land use change has affected the habitat of semi-natural grasslands in the area around Osby, Scania. For that purpose, semi-natural grasslands in a historical map from 1926-34 were digitalised and compared with the latest data to see if the size of the grassland has changed and if there was a loss of the previous semi-natural grasslands.
Even though there is a larger area of grasslands found in the area today, there was a decrease of continuous grasslands by 84.8% between 1926-34 and the latest data. Similar result of area loss for semi-natural grasslands have been found in other studies.
Former land use has an influence on the appearance of the landscape today. The type and timing of management, both historically and today, influences the species present in the semi-natural grasslands. Land use change has not automatically led to a loss of species, but it is affecting certain species, especially the ones which established before the 1700s and the ones which are grazing dependent. The effect is not fully clear, but a shift of plant species within semi-natural grasslands is suspected. Recently established grasslands could differ in composition to the old ones but still contribute to biodiversity. The importance of semi-natural grasslands as an ecosystem is better understood today. To protect and remain the remaining grasslands, governmental programs are put in place. (Less)
Popular Abstract
During recent years, the loss of biodiversity has been a subject for many discussions. It has become clear that the way humans influence nature, influences both plants and animals. The loss of nature types has been named to be a problem in many cases. The conservation and protection of biodiversity is important. Among all the different types of nature the semi-natural grasslands found in Sweden are home to many different species, some of them found only there. When talking about biodiversity it refers to the variance between all living organisms and the diversity within species, between species and between ecosystems. Semi-natural grasslands are not natural, they are a result of humans and the way they have used the landscape. When humans... (More)
During recent years, the loss of biodiversity has been a subject for many discussions. It has become clear that the way humans influence nature, influences both plants and animals. The loss of nature types has been named to be a problem in many cases. The conservation and protection of biodiversity is important. Among all the different types of nature the semi-natural grasslands found in Sweden are home to many different species, some of them found only there. When talking about biodiversity it refers to the variance between all living organisms and the diversity within species, between species and between ecosystems. Semi-natural grasslands are not natural, they are a result of humans and the way they have used the landscape. When humans started deforestation and used the ground for farming and cattle, this is when semi-natural grasslands stared to develop. As the land was used differently for example for hay making or for grazing, different types of semi-natural grasslands developed. As the need for fields grew, semi-natural grasslands were turned into arable fields and later, they were turned into forest for economic reasons. These are some of the reasons behind the loss of semi-natural grasslands.
To investigate if there has been a loss of semi-natural grassland in Osby, Scania, a historic map for 1926-1934 was compared to data from today. Maps and graphs were created to show the change in area over time. The comparison showed that there was a decrease for old semi-natural grasslands but an increase of new established grasslands.
The diversity of species had not changed drastically but some species had declined. The way land is used influences which species will be found. As it is important to keep a high diversity in the semi-natural grassland, old management strategies and the right timing of management must be considered. Today there are programs and plans to favour the creation and maintenance of semi-natural grasslands. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Borgström-Lohde, Katharina LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Förändringen av markytan på halvnaturliga gräsmarker i Osby kommun, Skåne och dess möjliga konsekvenser på växternas diversitet
course
NGEK01 20211
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Land use change, Semi-natural grasslands, Biodiversity, Scania, Historical land use
publication/series
Student thesis series INES
report number
546
language
English
id
9056739
date added to LUP
2021-06-19 09:51:25
date last changed
2021-06-19 09:51:25
@misc{9056739,
  abstract     = {{During the past, land use has changed and still is. It has been recognized that land use changes affect biodiversity all over the world. In Sweden semi-natural grasslands are a habitat with high biodiversity. The topic of this thesis is how land use change has affected the habitat of semi-natural grasslands in the area around Osby, Scania. For that purpose, semi-natural grasslands in a historical map from 1926-34 were digitalised and compared with the latest data to see if the size of the grassland has changed and if there was a loss of the previous semi-natural grasslands. 
Even though there is a larger area of grasslands found in the area today, there was a decrease of continuous grasslands by 84.8% between 1926-34 and the latest data. Similar result of area loss for semi-natural grasslands have been found in other studies. 
Former land use has an influence on the appearance of the landscape today. The type and timing of management, both historically and today, influences the species present in the semi-natural grasslands. Land use change has not automatically led to a loss of species, but it is affecting certain species, especially the ones which established before the 1700s and the ones which are grazing dependent. The effect is not fully clear, but a shift of plant species within semi-natural grasslands is suspected. Recently established grasslands could differ in composition to the old ones but still contribute to biodiversity. The importance of semi-natural grasslands as an ecosystem is better understood today. To protect and remain the remaining grasslands, governmental programs are put in place.}},
  author       = {{Borgström-Lohde, Katharina}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  note         = {{Student Paper}},
  series       = {{Student thesis series INES}},
  title        = {{Change in surface area of semi-natural grassland in the Osby municipality, Scania and potential consequences for plant diversity}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}