Stockholm university

Regina Lindborg

About me

My research is focused around biodiversity conservation, with special emphasis on plants in grassland habitats, and how to combine management of ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation with sustainable food production in agricultural landscapes. I primarily work with questions associated to landscape ecology and to processes occurring at large temporal and spatial scales, such as land use changes and effects of climate change. Several of my studies are made in transdisciplinary collaboration with scientists from other disciplines, e.g., economists, social scientists.


Research projects
Multifunctionality in managed grassland systems - Biodiversity and ecosystem service
Grassland systems have been in focus for a long time due to their ecological, socioeconomic and cultural importance. If moderately managed, these grasslands increase the multifunctionality of the rural landscapes by harbouring extraordinary high biodiversity and by providing numerous ecosystem services like meat production, carbon sequestration, and different cultural values. Grasslands are currently undergoing an extensive land use change world vide, in particular transformation as a consequence agricultural intensification, urbanisation, and land abandonment. In this project we present a comprehensive overview of what ecosystem services are generated in different types of grassland and if different services show trade-offs or synergies with each other and with biodiversity conservation. During our stay at STIAS we synthesized parts of our previous work, together with the other scientific literature, in a joint publication addressing biodiversity and ecosystem service generation in grasslands.

Study area: N Europe and Southern Africa
Financing: Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), South Africa
Collaboration: Swedish Agriculture University, SLU, and Lund University


Woody or treeless pastures? Linking subsidy systems, farmers decisions and management for understanding biodiversity patterns
The definitions of forest and pasture are still debated both within Sweden and Europe, and the delimitation between them is not clarified, severely affecting Swedish farmers relying on EU subsidies for management of semi-natural pastures, as a part of the goals for both cultural heritage and promoting the high biodiversity in these habitats. Although semi-natural pastures are well studied we still do not know the effect on species (i.e. how many and what kinds of species that are lost) when excluding pastures with more than 60 trees per ha from the subsidy system. In this study we clarify what grassland species that are favoured/unfavoured by tree cover of different amount, identify thresholds and link that to pasture management. With this targeted design this project are able to directly evaluate the effects of current subsidy system on plant diversity as well as increase the general understanding of management effects in woody pastures. By studying how the subsidy system influence the decision making among land owners and managers, the results can be linked to management, important when formulating new policy for management of semi-natural pastures. 

Study area: Biosphere area Östra Vätternbranterna, Sweden 
Financing: Swedish Research Council for Environment,Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS)
Collaboration: Gothenburg University

Habitat restoration in fragmented landscapes: effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functions 
In this project we investigate how species community reassembly and reconstruction of ecosystem functioning following habitat restoration are linked to the structure of the surrounding landscape. We focus on plant and insect communities, and on pollination which is an important ecosystem function provided by the insects. We compare the community reassembly patterns to our current information on the order of disassembly after habitat loss and fragmentation, and assess if the species traits that predict re-colonization success are the same that predict extinction risk. This project will contribute to our general understanding of colonization and extinction processes in fragmented and restored

Study area: South Eastern Sweden 
Financing: Swedish Research Council for Environment,Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS)
Collaboration: Swedish Agriculture University, SLU, Ulltuna 

Ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes: the development of a framework for assessing synergies and dealing with trade-offs among multiple services
The aim of this project is to develop a conceptual framework and new empirical methods for ‘rapid and systematic assessments’ of connections among multiple ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. The core hypothesis is that different services are interlinked or ‘bundled’ together, and therefore co-vary as one service (in this case e.g. food or bio-fuels) increases. We also want to investigate if there are distinct bundles that change with altered land uses, spatial scales and management practices, and if so, whether this change is smooth, or abrupt and non-linear. We will focus on two agricultural landscapes, one in Sweden and one in South Africa, where we have substantial previous field experience and are well connected to researchers, actors and policy makers. 

Study area: Sweden and South Africa
Financing: Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS)
Collaboration: Stockholm Resilience centre and UKZN South Africa  

Research projects