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Grasslands of Gotland and Öland, Sweden

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Chapter Summary

The traditionally grassland based landscape of southern Sweden has, during the last century, changed into a landscape with a focus on arable cultivation and forest production. Much of the species-rich grasslands are found in the south eastern parts of Sweden and on the alvar of the islands Öland and Gotland. The landscapes of the islands contain a mixture of different types of forest scattered with wetlands, alvar, and dry and mesic grasslands. In general the distribution of vegetation and farming follows the conditions of soil productivity and moisture. The areas that are dry and poor in nutrients are used as pastures or grazed forest. On soils that allow higher productivity, the land is used as open pastures, meadows and arable fields. The species composition of the islands is unique to the rest of Sweden. Near the water, salt tolerant species as Glaux maritima, Juncus gerardii and Agrostis stolonifera are found.

Keywords: Öland grasslands; Agrostis stolonifera; Glaux maritima; Gotland grasslands; Juncus gerardii; Sweden landscape



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