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1 August 2007 Vegetation shifts towards wetter site conditions on oceanic ombrotrophic bogs in southwestern Sweden
Gunnarsson Urban, Lars-Åke Flodin
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Question: Is ombrotrophic bog vegetation in an oceanic region of southwestern Sweden changing in the same direction over a five year period (1999– 2004) as northwest European bogs in the last 50 years, i.e. towards drier and more eutrophic vegetation?

Location: The province of Halland, southwestern Sweden.

Methods: Changes in species composition were monitored in 750 permanently marked plots in 25 ombrotrophic bogs from 1999 to 2004. Changes in species occurrences and richness were analysed and a multivariate statistical method (DCA) was used to analyse vegetation changes.

Results: The species composition changed towards wetter rather than drier conditions, which is unlike the general pattern of vegetation change on bogs in northwestern Europe. Species typical of wetter site conditions including most Sphagnum species increased in abundance on the bogs until 2004. The total number of species per plot increased, mostly due to the increased species richness of Sphagnum species. Nitrogen-demanding (eutrophic) species increased in occurrence.

Conclusions: Ombrotrophic bog vegetation in an oceanic region in Sweden became wetter and was resilient to short-term climatic shifts, after three years of below normal precipitation followed by several years with normal precipitation levels. Shifts towards more nitrogen demanding species were rapid in this region where the deposition levels have been high for several decades.

Nomenclature: Karlsson (1997) for vascular plants; Söderström & Hedenäs (1998) for bryophytes; Moberg et al. (1995) for lichens.

Gunnarsson Urban and Lars-Åke Flodin "Vegetation shifts towards wetter site conditions on oceanic ombrotrophic bogs in southwestern Sweden," Journal of Vegetation Science 18(4), 595-604, (1 August 2007).[595:VSTWSC]2.0.CO;2
Received: 18 September 2006; Accepted: 24 January 2007; Published: 1 August 2007

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species richness
Vascular plant
vegetation change
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