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Recent changes in the frequency of plant species and vegetation types in Scania, S Sweden, compared to changes during the twentieth century

  • Torbjörn Tyler
  • Stefan Andersson
  • Lars Fröberg
  • Kjell-Arne Olsson
  • Åke Svensson
  • Ola Olsson
Publishing year: 2019-11-26
Language: English
Publication/Series: Biodiversity and Conservation
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Based on data from three surveys of the vascular flora of the province of Scania, southernmost Sweden, conducted 1938–1971, 1987–2006 and 2008–2015, we analyse the change in frequency of individual species and groups of species associated with particular vegetation types. A majority of all species have experienced a change in frequency since 1938, and this turnover has continued in recent decades. The species showing the most dramatic declines since 1987 represent a mixture of arable weeds, grassland species and ruderals, but excludes forest species. In contrast, a majority of the most increasing species are escapes from cultivation that thrive under shaded conditions. The vegetation types showing the largest decreases since 1987 are all open seminatural grasslands and wetlands, while the vegetation types performing best are wooded. All vegetation types increasing since 1987 also increased during the 1900s; however, species of wooded types performed relatively better in recent decades, as opposed to the minimal increase observed for species of vegetation strongly influenced by human activities. Among decreasing vegetation types, those that have received much attention from conservationists, e.g. sand-steppe and
calcareous fens tend to perform relatively better now than during the 1900s, while those that have received less attention, e.g. poor fens, oligotrophic waters and heaths, now comprise the most rapidly declining vegetation types. A majority of the species that decreased 1938–1996 also decreased 1987–2015, but, in general, species shown to have increased during the 1900s have not continued to increase.


  • Botany
  • Ecology
  • citizen science, conservation, land use, vegetation management


  • ISSN: 0960-3115
Stefan Andersson
E-mail: stefan [dot] andersson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 44 08



Research group

Plant Biology



Doctoral students and Postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

Gróa Valgerdur Ingimudardóttir

Downloads & links

CV (pdf; 19 kb)