Victor Johansson


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Works at Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Visiting address Lilla Frescativägen 5
Postal address Institutionen för ekologi miljö och botanik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

My research is mainly focused on understanding the distribution patterns and population dynamics of different species. I develop models that can be used for projections of future population dynamics and extinction risks given different management scenarios.

I have a general interest in landscape and (meta)population ecology, and its applications for conservation. I think it is important to understand the habitat requirements and population dynamics of single species. I mainly work with colonization-extinction dynamics, dispersal and persistence of sessile species (e.g. lichens, mosses, fungi and vascular plants), but I am also involved in several projects analyzing occurrence patterns and population dynamics of saproxylic insects, butterflies and wild bees. In general I am very interested in advanced statistics and modelling using both frequentist and Bayesian methods.

At present I mainly work in a project about how fire affects vegetation and pollinators on clear-cuts

I also work 50% at Calluna AB where I also conduct some research (e.g. on urban green infrastructure)


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2014. Victor Johansson (et al.). Journal of Ecology 102 (3), 721-729

    Adequately describing the dispersal mechanisms of a species is important for understanding and predicting its distribution dynamics in space and time. For wind-dispersed species, the transportation of airborne propagules is comparatively well studied, while the mechanisms triggering propagule release are poorly understood, especially for cryptogams. We investigated the effect of wind speed and turbulence on spore release in the moss Atrichum undulatum in a wind tunnel. Specifically, we measured the amount of spores released from sporophytes when exposed to different wind speeds, in high and low turbulence, using a particle counter. We also related spore release to variation in vibrations of the sporophyte and investigated how the vibrations were affected by wind speed, turbulence and sporophyte length (here including capsule, seta and the top part of the shoot). We show that in high turbulence, the amount of spores released increased with increasing wind speed, while in low turbulence, it did not, within the wind speed range 0.8-4.3ms(-1). However, there was a threshold in wind speed (similar to 2.5-3ms(-1)) before large amounts of spores started to be released in turbulent flow, which coincided with incipient vibrations of the sporophyte. Thresholds in wind variation, rather than average wind speed, seemed to initiate sporophyte vibrations. The vibration threshold increased with decreasing sporophyte length. The deposition of spores near the source decreased with increasing wind variation during the time of their release, based on simulated spore deposition from another study of moss dispersal. Synthesis. We suggest that vibration of moss sporophytes is an important mechanism to regulate spore release and that turbulence and sporophyte length regulate the onset of sporophyte vibration. Spore release thresholds affect dispersal distances and have implications for our understanding and predictions of species distribution patterns, population dynamics and persistence. The mechanisms of this phase of the dispersal process are also important to explore for other species, as there may be a substantial variation depending on the species' different traits.

  • 2018. Victor Johansson, Carl-Johan Wikström, Kristoffer Hylander. Biological Conservation 225, 53-65

    Tree retention on clear-cuts is a relatively new measure in forestry aimed at lifeboating' forest species during young seral periods. However, the effectiveness of tree retention for maintaining biodiversity for more than a few years is still poorly known. We investigated lichen persistence in retained buffer strips along small streams after clear-cutting of the surrounding forest, and compared with clear-cuts and un-cut references. Specifically, we compared richness and frequency of red-listed/signal species, calicioids and pendulous species before clear cutting with 2.5 years and 16.5 years after clear-cutting, and also analysed their colonization-extinction dynamics over time. The results show that the richness of red-listed/signal species and calicioids in buffer strips had declined significantly after 16.5 years, but not after 2.5 years, while frequency displayed a significant difference already after 2.5 years. The richness of pendulous lichens remained relatively stable over time, but the frequency had declined significantly after 16.5 years. In clear-cuts all groups declined more than in buffer-strips (-2-3.5 times more) and the main decline had occurred already after 2.5 years. References remained stable over time. The colonization-extinctions dynamics reflected the richness declines, with high early extinction in clear cuts and lower but late extinction in buffer-strips, and low (re)colonization. We conclude that retained buffer strips cannot maintain lichen richness over time due to time-lagged extinction, but they are clearly more effective than clear-cuts. Wider buffer strips could potentially reduce tree mortality and decrease lichen extinction. The large amounts of standing dead wood makes buffer strips potential future colonization targets.

  • 2018. Florian Zanatta (et al.). Ecology and Evolution 8 (23), 11484-11491

    Dispersal is a fundamental biological process that can be divided into three phases: release, transportation, and deposition. Determining the mechanisms of diaspore release is of prime importance to understand under which climatic conditions and at which frequency diaspores are released and transported. In mosses, wherein spore dispersal takes place through the hygroscopic movements of the peristome, the factors enhancing spore release has received little attention. Here, we determine the levels of relative humidity (RH) at which peristome movements are induced, contrasting the response of species with perfect (fully developed) and specialized (reduced) peristomes. All nine investigated species with perfect peristomes displayed a xerochastic behavior, initiating a closing movement from around 50%–65% RH upon increasing humidity and an opening movement from around 90% RH upon drying. Five of the seven species with specialized peristomes exhibited a hygrochastic behavior, initiating an opening movement under increasing RH (from about 80%) and a closing movement upon drying (from about 90%). These differences between species with hygrochastic and xerochastic peristomes suggest that spore dispersal does not randomly occur regardless of the prevailing climate conditions, which can impact their dispersal distances. In species with xerochastic peristomes, the release of spores under decreasing RH can be interpreted as an adaptive mechanism to disperse spores under optimal conditions for long‐distance wind dispersal. In species with hygrochastic peristomes, conversely, the release of spores under wet conditions, which decreases their wind long‐distance dispersal capacities, might be seen as a safe‐site strategy, forcing spores to land in appropriate (micro‐) habitats where their survival is favored. Significant variations were observed in the RH thresholds triggering peristome movements among species, especially in those with hygrochastic peristomes, raising the question of what mechanisms are responsible for such differences.

Show all publications by Victor Johansson at Stockholm University

Last updated: February 1, 2019

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