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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2002

Presence and abundance of red-listed plant species in Swedish forests

Gustafsson, Lena


This study, was performed to obtain information on the presence and abundance of red-listed vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens of forests in an objective and systematic way, and on a large scale. Species were searched for in line transects in three areas in southern Sweden, representing a total of 1350 km(2). I investigated 135 ha of production forests and for comparison, 35 so-called "woodland kej, habitats" (WKHs) covering 63 ha. It is estimated that there are 70,000 WKHs in Sweden presumed to be important sites for red-listed species. I found 22% of the forest vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens on the national red list, indicating that most such species are very, rare. The red-listed bryophytes and lichens were considerably, more common than the vascular plants. Due to a relatively, high abundance of a few red-listed species, the average number of records for the three species groups together was 0.9-2.4/ha in the production forest. Extrapolated to the whole hemiboreal region of Sweden, there could be several million occurrences of red-listed plant species within the managed forests. The red-listed species were to a high degree associated with deciduous trees and dead wood and occurred mainly, in mature forests. Woodland kej, habitats had more red-listed species, more species in high categories of threat, and significantly, more records per hectare than production forests. Because WKHs constitute only, 1% of the productive forest land in Sweden, they, cannot alone safeguard the future of red-listed species. The great importance of managed forests, which make up more than 95% of the productive forest land in Sweden, must be acknowledged, Combined conservation planning is recommended, with attention being given to both WKHs and production forests.

Published in

Conservation Biology
2002, Volume: 16, number: 2, pages: 377-388

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