Jessica Lindgren

Jessica Lindgren


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Works at Department of Physical Geography
Telephone 08-674 78 71
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Room V 401
Postal address Inst för naturgeografi 106 91 Stockholm


Land use changes has led to a decline of diversity of plants in agriculture landscapes. Some of the plant species may still grow in small remnant habitats that are excluded from the cultivation. Small areas that are left, squeezed in between crop fields and forest as a border or surrounded of field as a midfield-islet. These small remnant habitats has a history of being grazed from a time when the grazing animals was grazing all over the landscape around farms. Small remnant habitats are likely to play an important role in agriculture landscapes in preserving biodiversity, associated with species richness and ecosystem functions for the future.

My project is about small remnant habitats of grassland and their additive value to biodiversity, when it comes to plants, shrubs and deciduous trees, and ecosystem functions in human modified landscapes.  I focus on how different factors (for example fragmentation, isolation and management) affect the function of small habitats in agriculture landscapes.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2015. Sara A. O. Cousins (et al.). Ambio 44, s17-S27

    Extensive changes in land cover during the 20th century are known to have had detrimental effects on biodiversity in rural landscapes, but the magnitude of change and their ecological effects are not well known on regional scales. We digitized historical maps from the beginning of the 20th century over a 1652 km(2) study area in southeastern Sweden, comparing it to modern-day land cover with a focus on valuable habitat types. Semi-natural grassland cover decreased by over 96 % in the study area, being largely lost to afforestation and silviculture. Grasslands on finer soils were more likely to be converted into modern grassland or arable fields. However, in addition to remaining semi-natural grassland, today's valuable deciduous forest and wetland habitats were mostly grazed grassland in 1900. An analysis of the landscape-level biodiversity revealed that plant species richness was generally more related to the modern landscape, with grazing management being a positive influence on species richness.

  • 2015. Alicia Valdés (et al.). Global Ecology and Biogeography 24 (9), 1094-1105

    AimMacroclimate is a major determinant of large-scale diversity patterns. However, the influence of smaller-scale factors on local diversity across large spatial extents is not well documented. Here, we quantify the relative importance of local (patch-scale), landscape-scale and macroclimatic drivers of herbaceous species diversity in small forest patches in agricultural landscapes across Europe. LocationDeciduous forest patches in eight regions along a macroclimatic gradient from southern France to central Sweden and Estonia. MethodsThe diversity of forest specialists and generalists at three levels (whole forest patch, sampling plots within patches and between scales) was related to patch-scale (forest area, age, abiotic and biotic heterogeneity), landscape-scale (amount of forest, grasslands and hedgerows around the patch, patch isolation) and macroclimatic variables (temperature and precipitation) using generalized linear mixed models and variation partitioning for each group of variables. ResultsThe total amount of explained variation in diversity ranged from 8% for plot-scale diversity of generalists to 54% for patch-scale diversity of forest specialists. Patch-scale variables always explained more than 60% of the explained variation in diversity, mainly due to the positive effect of within-patch heterogeneity on patch-scale and between-scale diversities and to the positive effect of patch age on plot-scale diversity of forest specialists. Landscape-scale variables mainly contributed to the amount of explained variation in plot-scale diversity, being more important for forest specialists (21%) than for generalists (18%). Macroclimatic variables contributed a maximum of 11% to the plot-scale diversity of generalists. Main conclusionsMacroclimate poorly predicts local diversity across Europe, and herbaceous diversity is mainly explained by habitat features, less so by landscape structure. We show the importance of conserving old forest patches as refugia for typical forest species, and of enhancing the landscape context around the patches by reducing the degree of disturbance caused by agriculture.

Show all publications by Jessica Lindgren at Stockholm University

Last updated: March 17, 2018

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