Sølvi Wehn

Forsker

(+47) 920 11 217
solvi.wehn@nibio.no

Sted
Trondheim

Besøksadresse
Klæbuveien 153, bygg C 1.etasje, 7031 Trondheim

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Sammendrag

Worldwide semi-natural habitats of high biological value are in decline. Consequently, numerous AgriEnvironment Schemes (AESs) intended to halt biodiversity loss within these habitats have been implemented. One approach has been the application of “adaptive management”, where scientific knowledge is applied alongside the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of stakeholders in order to establish an integrated approach that is adjusted as outcomes are assessed. In this paper we examine the effectiveness of the adaptive management approach of Norway’s Action Plan for Hay Meadows (APHM). Twenty-nine hay meadows from fourteen farms in the county of Møre og Romsdal were ecologically surveyed over a 2 year period. Interviews were also conducted with owners and land managers to explore TEK and management issues. The interdisciplinary study found that the disembedding of hay meadow management from its initial commercial purpose (in particular the loss of much of the livestock from the region) has contributed to a significant loss of TEK – which is now largely limited to knowledge of how the fields were managed recently. While, the APHM is limiting biodiversity decline by promoting traditional practices there were indications that the standardisation of management actions might negatively affect species composition in the long term. More critically, continued farm abandonment within the region means that without alternatives to management by farmers many of these meadows are likely to disappear in the next couple of decades. We conclude that adaptive management provides an effective short-term means of preserving hay meadows, but long term conservation will require a means of addressing the continued decline of local farming communities.

Sammendrag

Questions What are the effects of abandonment on plant diversity in semi-natural grasslands? Do the effects of abandonment on taxonomic and functional diversity vary along environmental gradients of climate and soil? Location West and mid-Norway. Methods Plant composition was surveyed in 110 subplots of 4 m2 in 14 sites across grazed and abandoned semi-natural grasslands. Climate data were extracted and soil composition analysed. To reduce the number of explanatory variables and deal with collinearity, we performed PCA. Data on the plant species vegetative height (H), leaf dry matter content (LDMC), specific leaf area (SLA), seed mass (SM) and number of seeds per plant (SNP) for 175 species were extracted from the LEDA database. Measures of plant diversity (species richness, CWM of functional traits and functional diversity (evenness and range)) were calculated for each subplot. To estimate the effects of abandonment on plant diversity and examine how these effects are moderated by gradients in soil and climate, we fitted mixed models to the data including site as a random effect. Results Species richness in the subplots was lower in abandoned semi-natural grasslands, especially on more calcareous soils. CWM H, LDMC and SM were higher in abandoned semi-natural grasslands. CWM LDMC was only higher in the driest subplots. The ranges in H, SLA and SM, as well as evenness in LDMC were also higher in abandoned semi-natural grasslands,but the range in LDMC was lower. Conclusions It is important to assess both taxonomic and functional diversity to understand ecosystem processes. The species pool in ecosystems influenced by a long history of intermediate grazing includes a high proportion of low stature, grazing-tolerant plant species. Abandonment of extensive land-use practices will cause a decline in taxonomic diversity (plant species richness) in such systems due to increased abundance of plants with high stature that outcompete the lower, grazing-tolerant plants. This process is predominant especially if moisture, soil fertility and pH are at intermediate levels. Changes in species communities due to abandonment will also influence ecosystem functioning, such as nutrient turnover and fodder production resilience.

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GLORIA-Norge er et prosjekt hvor biofysiske variabler i norsk fjellnatur overvåkes i seks fjellområder langs kyst - innlandgradienter, i høydegradienter fra nordboreal til høyalpin sone, og langs snøleiegradienten i Midt- og Nord-Norge. Denne årsrapporten beskriver resultater fra analyser på forskjeller i vegetasjonen fra 2009 til 2016 i det kystnære fjellet Stortussen/Snøtind i Møre og Romsdal og vekstsesongovervåkingen som er gjort i 2016.

Sammendrag

Semi-naturlig eng er en sjelden naturtype i Norge med et høyt biologisk mangfold. Naturtypen er i sterk tilbakegang og truet men det mangler arealrepresentative tall for denne tilbakegangen og tilstanden som gjenværende arealer innehar. Det er derfor utviklet en metode for arealrepresentativ overvåking av semi- naturlig eng i Norge. Rapporten beskriver et forslag til metode for en helhetlig overvåking av forekomst og tilstand til semi-naturlig eng i Norge og biologisk mangfold knyttet til naturtypen.

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Semi-natural habitats are key habitats for biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, but are threatened due to structural change and decline in agriculture. In Norway, the Action Plan for Hay Meadows (APHM) was implemented in 2009, including management agreements with farmers/land owners/users. In this study the results and experiences in two study areas in Møre og Romsdal regional county, South-Western Norway, was carried out with the aim to assess crucial aspects of the APHM. This interdisciplinary study was based on a combination of botanical studies of hay meadows of 14 properties holding landscape management agreements and a social science approach with qualitative, semi-structured interviews, aiming at societal aspects influencing the management of these biologically and culturally important hay meadows. One aim was to investigate whether Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) could be utilised in order to optimalise hay meadow management. By investigating the relationship between the proportion mature plants of the semi-natural grassland specialists and the phenology of earlier identified TEK indicators, we could not define one valid TEK-point based on the species used to indicate when to start mowing historically. However, we found that variations in time of hay cut, rather than a rigid date, is crucial. Interviews showed that little remained of what may be defined as TEK. Owners/users in general appreciated the scheme, and had in general few problems adapting to scheme prescriptions. Without the scheme, many of the meadows would not have been properly managed. However, owners/users were concerned regarding issues of fertilizing and impoverishment of the soil, which may be linked to upheaval of the previously common grazing in spring and/or autumn. Overall, the scheme may be described as a success, however, a serious concern is the high average age of owners/users, lack of successors to the farms and properties for future management of these hay meadows.

Sammendrag

Kystlyngheia på Eiternes opplever ny skjøtselsaktivitet etter en brakkleggingsperiode siste 12 år. Av den grunn ble det gjennomført kartlegging av naturtyper, og tilhørende skjøtselsplan utformet for området. Det ble registrert kystlynghei med svak verdi B, og området som helhet opplever økende trussel i form av tiltagende gjengroing. Det anbefales derfor restaurering med gjeninnførsel av beite, lyngsviing og rydding av trær/busker i kystlyngheia. Dette vil opprettholde den truede naturtypen kystlynghei, samtidig som beiteressursene i lyngheia øker. Eiternes utgjør også en landskapsverdi for regionen i form av gammelt kulturlandskap preget av kystjordbruk.

Sammendrag

På oppdrag fra Nærøy kommune ble det kartlagt viktige naturtyper på det historiske handelsstedet Risværet, og tilhørende skjøtselsplan utformet for videre skjøtsel av området. Følgende øyer ble undersøkt; Risværøy, Kalvøya, Hovøya og Sandøya. Det ble registrert både kystlynghei og naturbeitemark med verdi A. Risværøya innehar kalkrik kystlynghei, noe som er sjeldent i denne regionen. Området som helhet opplever likevel en økende trussel i form av tiltagende gjengroing. Det anbefales derfor restaurering med gjeninnførsel av lyngsviing i kystlyngheia i tillegg til dagens beite. Dette vil opprettholde den truede naturtypen kystlynghei, samtidig som beiteressursene i lyngheia øker. Risværet har også en landskapsverdi for regionen bestående av gammelt kulturlandskap preget av kystjordbruk.

Sammendrag

Semi-natural grasslands are in decline due to land use changes. To conserve grassland ecosystems, agrienvironmental schemes facilitate low intensity management of semi-natural grasslands of high nature value. In addition to management of the meadows themselves, the nature value of the hay meadows also depends upon the surrounding landscape. The aim of this study was to assess the importance of the landscape on the biological value of semi-natural hay meadows implemented in the Action Plan for Hay Meadows (APHM) in Norway. The biological value was estimated by richness of all vascular plant species and of vascular plant species associated with semi-natural grassland. Richness was high in semi-natural grasslands, particularly in hay meadows implemented in the APHM. However, the landscape context also influenced the richness of the hay meadows. Species richness increased with hay meadow area and length and edge density of semi-natural habitats types in the landscapes.

Sammendrag

Semi-natural grasslands are important habitats for pollinators because of high abundance of flowering plants. The aim of this study was to assess effects of mowing time on flower resources for pollinators in semi-natural hay meadows. Flowering species in semi-natural hay meadows throughout a landscape in Maramures, Romania were used as indicators of flower resources for pollinators. Botanical surveys were performed in 31 hay meadows and all herbs and shrubs were recorded in hay meadows cut early, intermediate and late in the growing season. All hay meadows included a high number of flower species but the mowing time influenced the available floral resources for pollinators. If mowing time varies between hay meadows within a landscape, flower resources for pollinators will be available throughout the growing season, which is essential in pollination conservation in agricultural landscapes.

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Prosjektets mål har vært å evaluere avgjørende aspekter, både økologiske og samfunnsmessige, ved Handlingsplan for slåttemark. Mulighetene for adaptiv skjøtsel og bruk av tradisjonell økologisk kunnskap (TRØK) er hovedtema. For å sikre en enda bedre forvaltning av biologiske verdier knyttet til slåttemark er det basert på prosjektets resultater definet ni anbefalinger.

Sammendrag

NIBIO har på oppdrag fra Miljødirektoratet testet en ny metodikk utviklet for kartlegging og verdisetting av naturtyper av nasjonal forvaltningsinteresse (NNF). 39 ruter a 500x500 meter ble kartlagt sommeren 2017 og 33 naturtyper ble registrert fordelt på 130 lokaliteter. Evaluering av metodikken er basert på resultater fra denne kartleggingen. Metodikken er evaluert generelt og for hvert hovedøkosystem (naturlige åpne områder i lavlandet, semi-naturlig mark, skog og våtmark) og naturtype.

Sammendrag

Grazing is an important management action to conserve biodiversity in semi-natural grasslands but it is important to understand how grazing influences the life-history components and population dynamics of plant species. In this study, we analysed effects of grazing intensity and abandonment on population dynamics of the semi-natural grassland species Knautia arvensis which is an important nectar source for pollinating species and an indicator of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. We recorded life-history stage, survival, establishment of seedlings and ramets, number of inflorescences and grazing marks on permanently marked individuals in eight populations in mid-Norway for three consecutive years. Matrix modelling was used to estimate population growth rates and elasticities, and life Table response experiments (LTREs) were used to assess the contribution of different life-history components to the observed variation in population growth rates between different management treatments. Generalized linear mixed effects models (GLMMs) were used to investigate the effect of management on vital rates and number of inflorescences as well as damage to K. arvensis individuals. Populations in abandoned grasslands had more inflorescences, a lower proportion of seedlings and a higher proportion of flowering ramets compared to populations in grasslands under high grazing intensity. There were no differences in population growth rates between different grazing intensities. Fecundity however, contributed more to the growth rate in grazed grasslands compared to abandoned grasslands where clonal regeneration contributed the most. Survival of non-flowering rosettes made the largest impact to overall growth rates. Our results indicate that a long life-span and clonal growth buffer the effect of environmental change in abandoned grasslands and that there is a trade-off between fertility and clonal regeneration in K. arvensis populations.

Sammendrag

The Action plan for hay meadows in Norway is an instrument used to manage hay meadows of high biological value. The mowing management is regulated by a specific date and we aimed to assess the suitability of this date. We compared proportions of mature plants of species associated with semi-natural grasslands at the defined mowing date in 2014 and 2015. Numbers of mature species differed between the two years, but even in the warmest year the percentage of mature plants was only 44%. In order to plan a more successful agri-environmental scheme, the cutting date should be more site-specific and based on knowledge of the former practices that originally created and maintained the biological values.

Sammendrag

In this study potential links between biodiversity, ecosystem service (ES) indicators and agricultural land use were examined. Semi-natural grasslands, either actively used for sheep grazing or abandoned, were surveyed and all vascular plant species recorded. Based on this survey, species richness (per 4 m2), fodder quality and quantity, as well as pollination, were estimated. We found lower species richness and indications of lower fodder quantity and quality, but of higher pollination in abandoned grasslands. The relationships between ES indicators and species richness were both negative and positive, and differed in managed and abandoned semi-natural grasslands.

Sammendrag

Climate, available resources and disturbance by agricultural land use influence ecosystem service (ES) delivery. In our project we studied how ES provision from managed and abandoned semi-natural grasslands vary along soil and climatic gradients. Information on climate (temperature and precipitation) and soil (pH-value and phosphorous content) were used to test whether ES varied along these environmental gradients. 13 ES indicators were calculated and assigned to nine ES. Some of the ES varied along the gradients, but the results indicate that the effects of soil and climate on ES are modified by agricultural land use.

Sammendrag

The effect of abandonment of sheep grazing management in semi-natural grasslands were studied in 14 sites in Norway. Data of species and vegetation composition, functional traits and pollination resources were used as indicators for nine selected ecosystem services (ES). The majority of the ES were negatively affected by abandonment of sheep grazing management. We therefore conclude that abandonment diminishes delivery of ES.

Sammendrag

Det er utviklet en tilstandsindikator for gjengroing og identifisert indikator arter som kan egne seg for naturtypen kystlynghei i Åpent lavland i naturindeks for Norge. Gjengroing med tresjikt er beregnet ut fra fjernmålingsdata (flyfoto). Det er pekt ut indikatorarter knyttet til lyngheisyklusen, nord-sør gradienten og nitrogenberikelse. I tillegg er det vurdert hvordan NIN kartlegging og handlingsplan for kystlynghei kan bidra med data til Naturindeks.

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This paper reports on the performance of the red-listed Primula scandinavica, endemic to Scandinavia. The study took place in Jotunheimen, Norway. We evaluated occurrence, density and sexual reproduction variables (number of fertile individuals and number of seed capsules). Habitats were registered as land-cover categories (historical and current; broad habitat types) and habitat patch classes (semi-natural and natural; fine-grained habitat types). Spatial overlay analyses and maximum likelihood tests of generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) were performed to assess the habitat quality of the land-cover categories and the habitat patch classes. In most (96%) of the observed occurrences the species was located at a site that had open vegetation 40 years ago but is now becoming forested or covered by shrubs. The highest densities of P. scandinavica were found in “heathland” and “grassland in transition into woodland”, while the potential for sexual reproduction was highest in “grassland” and lowest in “grassland in transition into woodland”. The results indicate that many of the populations in the study area are remnants and that the habitats of highest quality are semi-natural habitat patches. The changed land use practices in mountain areas have resulted and will result in fewer and smaller populations. However, as also climatic conditions will change it is not straightforward to predict the future performance of P. scandinavica.