The decline of deciduous woodland populations of Anemone hepatica L. in southern Sweden is documented and possible causes are discussed. The study was based on (1) re-investigations of 6.25 km2 grid-squares first studied in 1938–1970, (2) distribution of A. hepatica in woodland sites with well-known soil chemical properties and (3) a detailed study over 12 consecutive years into the relationships between biological characteristics of the species (number of individuals, vegetative development, flowering frequency) and environmental variables (temperature, precipitation), soil chemistry and time. There was a close relationship between soil acidity (pH, solubility of Al3 ) and both distribution and biological characteristics. The biological variables declined significantly over time but were not related to climatic variability. Increasing soil acidity and Al3 solubility are concluded to be the main factors responsible for the decline of A. hepatica in S. Swedish deciduous woodlands.
Abbreviations: CEC = Cation exchange capacity.
Nomenclature: Karlsson (1998).