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1 December 2003 Distribution of Deciduous Stands in Villages Located in Coniferous Forest Landscapes in Sweden
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Termination of fire along with active removal of deciduous trees in favor of conifers together with anthropogenic transformation of productive forest into agricultural land, have transformed northern European coniferous forests and reduced their deciduous component. Locally, however, in the villages, deciduous trees and stands were maintained, and have more recently regenerated on abandoned agricultural land. We hypothesize that the present distribution of the deciduous component is related to the village in-field/out-field zonation in different regions, which emerges from physical conditions and recent economic development expressed as land-use change. We analyzed the spatial distribution of deciduous stands in in-field and out-field zones of villages in 6 boreal/hemiboreal Swedish regions (Norrbotten, Ångermanland, Jämtland, Dalarna, Bergslagen, Småland). In each region 6 individual quadrates 5 × 5 km centered on village areas were selected. We found significant regional differences in the deciduous component (DEC) in different village zones. At the scale of villages Ångermanland had the highest mean proportion of DEC (17%) and Jämtland the lowest (2%). However, the amounts of the DEC varied systematically in in-field and out-field zones. DEC was highest in the in-field in the south (Småland), but generally low further north. By contrast, the amount of DEC in the out-field was highest in the north. The relative amount of DEC in the forest edge peaked in landscapes with the strongest decline in active agriculture (Ångermanland, Dalarna, Bergslagen). Because former and present local villages are vital for biodiversity linked to the deciduous component, our results indicate a need for integrated management of deciduous forest within entire landscapes. This study shows that simplified satellite data are useful for estimating the spatial distribution of deciduous trees and stands at the landscape scale. However, for detailed studies better thematic resolution is needed to determine biologically relevant differences in quality of deciduous stands.
Grzegorz Mikusiński, Per Angelstam and Ulf Sporrong "Distribution of Deciduous Stands in Villages Located in Coniferous Forest Landscapes in Sweden," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 32(8), (1 December 2003).

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