Ove Eriksson

Ove Eriksson


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Telephone 08-16 12 04
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 20 A
Room N 440
Postal address Institutionen för ekologi miljö och botanik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Professor in Plant Ecology and Head of Department

My research interests are plant population ecology focusing on seed dispersal and recruitment, mainly concerning plants with fleshy fruits where seeds are dispersed by animals, evolution of animal-mediated seed dispersal, and historical ecology focusing on Scandinavian cultural landscapes. Apart from supervising Bachelor and Master theses, my main teaching is on the advanced level course Biodiversity: Pattern and Process.


Currently I have two ongoing projects.

Spatial distribution of plant species with fleshy fruits, in relation to historic and present-day features of landscapes.

Plant-frugivore disperser interactions are among the most important in terrestrial ecosystems globally. They have a long evolutionary history, involving mainly mammals and birds, and they are driven pulse-wise by changing climate, vegetation and interaction networks. Although most prevalent in the tropics, fleshy fruits are common also in temperate zones, where about 35-40% of woody species have this dispersal system. Many of the woody species with fleshy fruits have their main occurrence in edge habitats, conditions that are common in landscapes transformed by management or urbanization. In this project we focus on spatial distribution of the whole guild of Swedish fleshy-fruited woody species, and analyze various processes behind the patterns.

Human niche construction and history of species diversity patterns in Scandinavian cultural landscapes.

I have a long standing interest in crossing scientific boundaries between ecology and human social history, mainly archaeology and agrarian history. This project is based on a framework of niche construction theory and aims at analyzing how land-use practices have developed over the last millennia, and how these practices have formed, and become influenced by, features of the vegetation. A focal topic is the development of infields/outland (inägor/utmark). The project also concerns current conservation programs aimed at preserving the often rich biodiversity present in remnants of the ‘old’ agrarian landscapes.


Selected recent publications

Eriksson, O. 2021. The importance of traditional agricultural landscapes for preventing species extinctions. Biodiversity and Conservation 30: 1341-1357.

Eriksson, O., Arnell, M. & Lindholm, K.-J. 2021. Historical ecology of Scandinavian infield systems. Sustainability 13: 817

Glav Lundin, L. & Eriksson, O. 2021. The decline of Gentianella campestris: three decades of population development of an endangered grassland plant in Sweden. Nordic Journal of Botany 39: e03007

Eriksson, O. 2020. Origin and development of managed meadows in Sweden: a review. Rural Landscapes: Society, Environment, History 7(1): 1-23.

Eriksson, O. & Glav Lundin, L. 2020. 'Gooseberry is the only thing left' - a study of declining biological cultural heritage at abandoned crofts in the province of Södermanland, Sweden. International Journal of Heritage Studies 26: 1061-1076.

Arnell, M., Cousins, S.A.O & Eriksson, O. 2019. Does historical land use affect the regional distribution of fleshy-fruited woody plants? PLoS One 14(12): e0225791

Eriksson, O. 2018. What is biological cultural heritage and why should we care about it? An example from Swedish rural landscapes and forests. Nature Conservation 28: 1-32.

Eriksson, O. 2018. Evolution of the seed habit: is niche construction a missing component? Ideas in Ecology and Evolution 11: 1-9.

MacDougall, A.S., McCune, J.L., Eriksson, O., Cousins, S.A.O., Pärtel, M. Firn, J. & Hierro, J.L. 2018. The Neolithic plant invasion hypothesis: the role of preadaptation and disturbance in grassland invasion. New Phytologist 220: 94-103.

Johansson, V.A., Bahram, M., Tedersoo, L., Köljalg, U. & Eriksson, O. 2017. Specificity of fungal associations of Pyroleae and Monotropa hypopitys during germination and seedling development. Molecular Ecology 26: 2591-2604.

Eriksson, O. 2016. Evolution of angiosperm seed disperser mutualisms: the timing of origins and their consequences for coevolutionary interactions between angiosperms and frugivores. Biological Reviews 91: 168-186. Biol Rev (322 Kb)

Eriksson, O. & Cousins, S. A. O. 2014. Historical landscape perspectives on grasslands in Sweden and the Baltic region. Land 3: 300-321. Land (1002 Kb)

Eriksson, O., Bolmgren, K., Westin, A. & Lennartsson, T. 2015. Historic hay cutting dates from Sweden 1873-1951 and their implications for conservation management of species-rich meadows. Biological Conservation 184: 100-107.

Johansson, V. A., Mikusinska, A., Ekblad, A. & Eriksson, O. 2015. Partial mycoheterotrophy in Pyroleae – nitrogen and carbon stable isotope signatures during development from seedling to adult. Oecologia 177: 203-211.

Bolmgren, K. & Eriksson, O. 2015. Are mismatches the norm? Timing of flowering, fruiting, dispersal and germination, and their fitness effects in Frangula alnus (Rhamnaceae). Oikos 124: 639-648.

Eriksson, O. 2013 Species pools in cultural landscapes: niche construction, ecological opportunity and niche shifts. Ecography 36: 403-413.

Eriksson, O. & Kainulainen, K. 2011. The evolutionary ecology of dust seeds. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 13: 73-87.



Last updated: April 29, 2021

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