Swedish Biodiversity Center

Uppsala, Sweden

Swedish Biodiversity Center

Uppsala, Sweden
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Hedblom M.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Lindberg F.,Gothenburg University | Vogel E.,University of Stockholm | Wissman J.,Swedish Biodiversity Center | Ahrne K.,Swedish Species Information Center
Urban Ecosystems | Year: 2017

Lawns are considered monocultures and lesser contributors to sustainability than diverse nature but are still a dominating green area feature and an important cultural phenomenon in cities. Lawns have esthetical values, provide playground, are potential habitat for species, contribute to carbon sequestration and water infiltration, but also increase pesticides, fertilization, are monocultures and costly to manage at the same time. To evaluate the potential impact of lawns, whether positive or negative, it is of interest to estimate the total lawn cover in cities and its change over time. This is not a straightforward process, e.g., because many lawns are small and covered by trees. In this study we review the existing literature of lawn cover in cities and the different methodologies used for cover estimation. We found both pros and cons with NDVI and LiDAR data as well as manually interpreted aerial photos. The total cover of lawns in three case study cities was estimated to 22.5%. By extrapolating these percentages to all Swedish cities lawn cover was estimated to 2589 km2 (0.6% of the terrestrial surface). The approximated total municipal management cost of lawns in all Swedish cities was 910,000,000 USD/ year. During 50 years lawn area almost doubled in relative cover and 56% of them were continuously managed. Since lawns constitute large parts of the urban greenery and are costly to manage it is highly relevant to consider their social, ecological and cultural value compared to alternatives, e.g., meadows with less intensive management. © 2017 The Author(s)

Gustafson D.H.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Blicharska M.,Swedish Biodiversity Center | Blicharska M.,Uppsala University | Mikusinski G.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Herpetological Conservation and Biology | Year: 2016

The Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus) is considered threatened throughout Europe; consequently, the species and its breeding habitat are protected in many countries. Translocation of a population is a conservation tool used when habitat occupied by a species is scheduled to be destroyed by human development. The outcome of these translocations is rarely monitored. This study describes and discusses a translocation of T. cristatus in south-central Sweden (Örebro), which occurred because of planned destruction of breeding habitat associated with development of a shopping and industrial area. We provide quantitative data concerning numbers of relocated amphibians and subsequent monitoring in both the pond being destroyed, which is serving as the source of newts to be translocated, and the pond that received the translocated newts. The translocation exemplifies how difficult it is to determine size and conservation value of a population without thorough initial investigations. A large part of the translocated population seemed to disappear at the receiving area, which initially indicated that the translocation was ineffective. Nevertheless, longer term monitoring indicated that a population was established and reproduced in the new habitat. We argue that translocation should never be a first choice to make human development possible but one should always strive for preservation of an existing habitat. However, if a translocation is unavoidable, an appriopriate assessment of the affected population should be performed and a detailed analysis of habitats in the potential receiving areas should be carried out to select an area best fitted for the species in question. © 2016. Monica F. Blasi. All Rights Reserved.

Fritsche U.R.,International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy IINAS | Iriarte L.,IINAS | de Jong J.,Swedish Biodiversity Center | Agostini A.,European Commission | Scarlat N.,European Commission
Natural Resources Forum | Year: 2014

Solid bioenergy from forests plays - and is expected to continue to play - a key role to fulfil the renewable energy targets at the European Union level. When the Renewable Energy Directive was enacted, sustainability criteria were incorporated solely for biofuels and bioliquids. Sustainability criteria for solid bioenergy are also needed in order to prevent wood and primary forest residues from posing additional environmental risks to ecosystems. Acknowledging this, the European Commission has been working on extending the biofuels and bioliquids provisions to solid biomass. An internal draft was circulated in August 2013 which addressed the ways to both balance and mitigate the risks in three main topics: biodiversity; sustainable forest management; and greenhouse gases. This paper presents a set of criteria and indicators, developed during workshops with experts from Governments, scientific institutions, businesses and NGOs, that may be considered by the EU to assure that solid biomass from forests is obtained in an environmentally sustainable way. © 2014 United Nations.

Rundqvist S.,Umeå University | Hedenas H.,Royal Swedish Academy Of Sciences | Sandstrom A.,Kaplansgatan 13 | Emanuelsson U.,Swedish Biodiversity Center | And 4 more authors.
Ambio | Year: 2011

Shrubs and trees are expected to expand in the sub-Arctic due to global warming. Our study was conducted in Abisko, sub-arctic Sweden. We recorded the change in coverage of shrub and tree species over a 32- to 34-year period, in three 50 × 50 m plots; in the alpine-tree-line ecotone. The cover of shrubs and trees (<3.5 cm diameter at breast height) were estimated during 20092010 and compared with historical documentation from 1976 to 1977. Similarly, all tree stems (≥3.5 cm) were noted and positions determined. There has been a substantial increase of cover of shrubs and trees, particularly dwarf birch (Betula nana), and mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii), and an establishment of aspen (Populus tremula). The other species willows (Salix spp.), juniper (Juniperus communis), and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) revealed inconsistent changes among the plots. Although this study was unable to identify the causes for the change in shrubs and small trees, they are consistent with anticipated changes due to climate change and reduced herbivory. © Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011.

Linden L.,University of Helsinki | Iwarsson M.,Swedish Biodiversity Center
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2014

Ornamental crabapples are small landscape trees with charming flowers, colourful fruits and many growth forms. The first weeping crabapple cultivars, Malus prunifolia 'Pendula' and 'Pendula Nova', were described in Sweden around 150 years ago. Our study was aimed at identification and characterization of weeping crabapple clones by microsatellite markers and morphological traits. We analysed 13 Swedish and Finnish trees and 8 reference accessions including M. prunifolia 'Pendula' and three international cultivars belonging to its progeny. The 21 trees represented 13 distinct genotypes. Five local trees were identified as the historical 'Pendula', assumed to be extinct from the nursery trade. On the basis of morphological traits and historical records, two old Swedish trees were concluded to represent 'Pendula Nova'. The authenticity of the trees could not be confirmed by DNA markers because no known plant of the old cultivar was found in botanical collections. The Finnish clone 'Hyvingiensis' proved unique among the crabapple accessions studied. 'Hyvingiensis' was probably raised from seed at the Finnish State Railways Nurseries about 110 years ago. Several mislabellings were revealed among both the local and the reference samples. A novel identification key was created to aid discrimination between the clones by their morphological traits. A combination of DNA fingerprints, comparison of morphological traits and tracing information in relevant archives and old garden literature proved useful for solving the origin and identity of weeping crabapples. The results contribute to conservation of garden plants and stabilization of horticultural nomenclature. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Forsman A.,Linnaeus University | Merila J.,University of Helsinki | Ebenhard T.,Swedish Biodiversity Center
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

Evolutionary theory predicts that in metapopulations subject to rapid extinction-recolonization dynamics, natural selection should favour evolution of traits that enhance dispersal and recolonization ability. Metapopulations of field voles (Microtus agrestis) on islands in the Stockholm archipelago, Sweden, are characterized by frequent local extinction and recolonization of subpopulations. Here, we show that voles on the islands were larger and had longer feet than expected for their body size, compared with voles from the mainland; that body size and size-specific foot length increased with increasing geographical isolation and distance from mainland; and that the differences in body size and size-specific foot length were genetically based. These findings provide rare evidence for relatively recent (less than 1000 years) and rapid (corresponding to 100-250 darwins) evolution of traits facilitating dispersal and recolonization in island metapopulations. © 2011 The Royal Society.

Kardell O.,Umeå University | Dahlstrom A.,Swedish Biodiversity Center
Environment and History | Year: 2013

In Sweden there has been a vigorous debate concerning management of the wolf (Canis lupus) ever since 1983, when the species was naturally re-established in the country by long-distance dispersal. The contradictory interests are due to a commitment by Naturvårdsverket, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, to protect the wolf, while at the same time wolves arouse fear and hatred among many members of the public because they attack hunting dogs and kill game and livestock. The wolf is expected to increase in numbers and spread over most of Sweden. We argue that modern wolf management would benefit from a historical perspective and our study draws on data from a time when wolves, livestock and people depending on their herds were far more numerous than today. We also discuss aspects of available wolf food supply and territorial size in the early nineteenth century county of Jönköping, Sweden. This is possible by combining hitherto undetected source material on wolves, with a high geographical resolution, with the insights of modern wildlife research. Our main conclusions are that historic wolf territories were in all probability larger than current territories. This was due to a scarcity of large prey, especially during the winter months when livestock were stabled. Past herding practices seem, to a very large extent, to have kept predation on livestock at nearly negligible levels compared to total livestock numbers. This is a significant finding that should be of interest to those concerned with present day wolf management. We also discuss the potential for the future reestablishment of wolves in the studied area. © 2013 The White Horse Press.

Dahlstrom A.,Swedish Biodiversity Center | Rydin H.,Uppsala University | Borgegard S.-O.,Ekologiplan AB i Vasteras
Applied Vegetation Science | Year: 2010

Questions: Which factors influence the persistence of vascular grassland plants in long-abandoned (at least 50 yr) arable fields and meadows? What might be the implications of current levels of species richness on abandoned arable fields and meadows for future restoration? Location: Forested highlands of Kilsbergen, south central Sweden. Methods: The abundance of all vascular plant species was investigated in three habitat types: former arable fields, hay meadows and outlands (pastures) at 27 farms, abandoned for either approximately 50 yr or 90 yr. Time since abandonment, tree cover, soil depth, degree of soil podsol development, size of the infield area and two measures of connectivity were used as predictors for species richness and species composition. Results: Former outland had denser tree cover, fewer species and fewer grassland species than former arable fields and hay meadows, irrespective of time since abandonment. Former hay meadows and arable fields with a longer time since abandonment were less rich in species, more wooded and had greater podsolization than meadows and fields abandoned at a later stage. Species richness was higher in hay meadows and arable fields at farms with larger infield area and deeper soils compared with farms with smaller infield area and shallower soils. The greatest richness of species and most open habitat were former arable fields at larger farms abandoned 50 yr before the study. Former arable fields had the highest number of grassland species. Conclusion: After 50 yr of abandonment, former arable fields were the most important remnant habitats for grassland species and may be a more promising target for restoration than formerly managed grasslands. © 2009 International Association for Vegetation Science.

Blicharska M.,Swedish Biodiversity Center | Blicharska M.,Uppsala University | Orlikowska E.H.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Roberge J.-M.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Grodzinska-Jurczak M.,Jagiellonian University
Biological Conservation | Year: 2016

Successful conservation needs to be informed by social science because it is closely linked to socio-economic processes and human behaviour. Limited knowledge about ecosystems' interactions with these processes currently undermines conservation efforts. This review provides a comprehensive synthesis of social science concerning the world's largest multinationally-coordinated conservation infrastructure: the European Ecological Network - 'Natura 2000'. Based on a review of 149 publications, we analyse and discuss the main findings and outline key social-science research gaps with regard to the Natura 2000 network. The review shows that human dimension of the Natura 2000 network is complex and varies among EU Member States. In general, low level and quality of public participation in implementation of the Natura 2000 network and its management, negative public perceptions of the network, lack of flexibility of responsible authorities and insufficient consideration of the local context pose the greatest challenges to the network's functioning. Important but hitherto little studied research topics include: evaluation of participation; effects of education on potential to raise public awareness; effects of potential financing mechanisms for compensating private land-owners; economic studies on cost-effectiveness; and benefits from conservation and ecosystem services. These knowledge gaps will need to be filled for the Natura 2000 network to reach its goals. © 2016.

Ng'Uni D.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Geleta M.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Fatih M.,Swedish Biodiversity Center | Bryngelsson T.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Annals of Botany | Year: 2010

Background and Aims Wild Sorghum species provide novel traits for both biotic and abiotic stress resistance and yield for the improvement of cultivated sorghum. A better understanding of the phylogeny in the genus Sorghum will enhance use of the valuable agronomic traits found in wild sorghum.MethodsFour regions of chloroplast DNA (cpDNA; psbZ-trnG, trnY-trnD, trnY-psbM and trnT-trnL) and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA were used to analyse the phylogeny of sorghum based on maximum-parsimony analyses. Key Results Parsimony analyses of the ITS and cpDNA regions as separate or combined sequence datasets formed trees with strong bootstrap support with two lineages: the Eu-sorghum species S. laxiflorum and S. macrospermum in one and Stiposorghum and Para-sorghum in the other. Within Eu-sorghum, S. bicolor-3, -11 and -14 originating from southern Africa form a distinct clade. S. bicolor-2, originally from Yemen, is distantly related to other S. bicolor accessions. Conclusions Eu-sorghum species are more closely related to S. macrospermum and S. laxiflorum than to any other Australian wild Sorghum species. S. macrospermum and S. laxiflorum are so closely related that it is inappropriate to classify them in separate sections. S. almum is closely associated with S. bicolor, suggesting that the latter is the maternal parent of the former given that cpDNA is maternally inherited in angiosperms. S. bicolor-3, -11 and -14, from southern Africa, are closely related to each other but distantly related to S. bicolor-2.

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