Landscape Ecology

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 41–54 | Cite as

Analysis of land-cover transitions based on 17th and 18th century cadastral maps and aerial photographs

  • Sara A.O. Cousins
Article

Abstract

This paper explores the possibility of using non-geometric cadastral maps from the 17th and 18th century together with aerial photographs from 1945 and 1981 to analyse land-cover change in south-east Sweden. Habitats rich in plant species in the European rural landscape seem to be correlated with a long continuity of management. Accurate spatial data from historical data sources are fundamental to understand patterns of vegetation and biodiversity in the present-day landscape. However, traditional methods for rectification of non-geometric maps using corresponding points from orthophotos or modern maps are not satisfying, as internal inaccuracies will remain in the maps. This study presents a method to rectify the maps by local warping, thereby eliminating geometrical irregularities. Further, the land-cover changes were calculated and presented as transition matrices. The extent of arable fields and grasslands were analysed in relation to soil characteristics and continuity of management. The results show a dynamic relation between grassland and arable field, albeit the overall proportions remained almost the same between 17th and 18th centuries: 60% grassland to 32% arable field. The most substantial changes in land-cover were prior to 1945. Today there is 18% grasslands left in the study area, while 56% of the land-cover is arable field. Approximately 8% of present-day land-cover is semi-natural grassland 300 years of age or more. Compared to 300 years ago there is only 1% grassland left on peat and 2% on clay. In contrast, grassland covers associated with bare bedrock have been fairly stable in size. All semi-natural grasslands with a long continuity of management were situated on shallow soils, less than 50 cm depth. The major conclusions from this study are that (i) correctly rectified, old maps are very useful to address questions of land-cover changes in historical time, (ii) general trends in land use over 300 years in this hemi-boreal landscape seem to underestimate the full dynamics of land use change, and (iii) only a small proportion of the semi-natural grassland area had a 300 year continuity of management.

bedrock continuity grassland land use change rectification soil species richness transition matrices 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aaviksoo, K. 1993. Changes of plant cover and land use types (1950's to 1980's) in three mire reserves and their neighbourhood in Estonia. Landsc Ecol 8: 287–301.Google Scholar
  2. Ambrosiani, B. 1964. Fornlämningar och bebyggelse: Studier i Attundalands och Södertörns förhistoria. Doctoral thesis. Uppsala university, Sweden. (in Swedish with summary in English).Google Scholar
  3. Austrheim, G., Olsson, E. G. A. and Grøntvedt, E. 1999. Landuse impact on plant communities in semi-natural grasslands of Budalen, central Norway. Biol Cons 87: 369–379.Google Scholar
  4. Bernes, C. (ed.) 1994. Biological Diversity in Sweden: a Country Study. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Monitor 14. 280 pp. Stockholm, Sweden.Google Scholar
  5. Cousins, S. A. O. and Eriksson, O. manuscript. The distribution of plant biodiversity in a hemiboreal landscape: the effects of habitat and history.Google Scholar
  6. Cousins, S. A. O. and Ihse, M. 1998. A methodological study for biotope and landscape mapping based on CIR aerial photographs. Landsc Urban Planning 41: 183–192.Google Scholar
  7. Crawley, M. J. 1990. The population dynamics of plants. Philos Trans Roy Soc Lond B 330: 125–140.Google Scholar
  8. Eastman, J. R. 1997. Idrisi for Windows. User's guide. Program Manual, Clark Laboratories for Cartographic Technology and Geographic Analysis. Worcester, MA., USA.Google Scholar
  9. Eriksson, Å. 1998. Regional distribution of Thymus serphyllum: management history and dispersal limitation. Ecography 21: 35–43.Google Scholar
  10. Eriksson, Å. 1999. Recruitment and distribution patterns of plants in Swedish semi-natural grasslands. Doctoral thesis. Department of Botany, Stockholm University. Stockholm, Sweden.Google Scholar
  11. Eriksson, Å. and Eriksson, O. 1997. Seedling recruitment in seminatural pastures: the effects of disturbance, seed size, phenology and seed bank. Nord J Bot 17: 469–482.Google Scholar
  12. Eriksson, Å., Eriksson, O. and Berglund, H. 1995. Species abundance patterns of plants in Swedish semi-natural pastures. Ecography 18: 310–317.Google Scholar
  13. Eriksson, O. 1996. Regional dynamics of plants: a review of evidence for remnant, source-sink and meta-populations. Oikos 77: 248–258.Google Scholar
  14. Fahrig, L. 1998.When does fragmentation of breeding habitat affect population survival? Ecol Modelling 105: 273–292.Google Scholar
  15. Fry, G. 1991. Conservation in agricultural ecosystems. In The Scientific Management of Temperate Communities for Nature Conservation. British Ecological Symposium, Volume 3. pp. 415–443. Edited by I. F., Spellerberg, F. B., Goldsmith and M. G., Morris. Blackwell, London, U.K.Google Scholar
  16. Gilpin, M. and Taylor, B. L. 1994. Reduced dimensional population transition matrices – extinction distribution from Markovian dynamics. Theor Pop Biol 46: 121–130.Google Scholar
  17. Harrison, S. and Bruna, E. 1999. Habitat fragmentation and largescale conservation: what do we know for sure? Ecography 22: 225–232.Google Scholar
  18. Herben, T., Krahulec, F., Hadincova, V. and Skalova, H. 1993. Small-scale variability as a mechanism for large-scale stability in mountain grassland. J Veg Sci 4: 163–170.Google Scholar
  19. Ihse, M. 1995. Swedish agricultural landscapes: patterns and changes during the last 50 years, studied by aerial photos. Landsc Urban Planning 31: 21–37.Google Scholar
  20. Kain, R. J. P. and Baigent, E. 1992. The Cadastral Map in the Service of the State: a History of Property Mapping. The University of Chicago Press, London, UK 423 pp.Google Scholar
  21. Kull, K. and Zobel, M. 1991. High species richness in an Estonian wooded meadow. J Veg Sci 2: 711–714.Google Scholar
  22. Li, B.-L. 1995. Stability analysis of a nonhomogenous Markovian landscape model. Ecol Modelling 82: 247–256.Google Scholar
  23. Lidmar-Bergström, K. 1995. Relief and saprolites thorough time on the Baltic Shield. Geomorphology 12: 45–61.Google Scholar
  24. Pärtel, M., Mändla. R and Zobel, M. 1999. Landscape history of a calcareous (alvar) grassland in Hanila, western Estonia during the last three hundred years. Landsc Ecol 14: 187–196.Google Scholar
  25. Poschlod, P. and Bonn S. 1998. Changing dispersal processes in the central European landscape since the last ice age: an explanation for the actual decrease of plant species richness in different habitats? Acta Bot Neerl. 47: 27–44.Google Scholar
  26. Rudberg, S. 1961. Geology and morphology. In: A Geography of Norden. Edited by A. Sømme. pp. 27–40 and colour map 4. Cappelen, Oslo, Norway.Google Scholar
  27. Silvertown, J. W., Franco, M., Pisanty, I. and Mendoza, A. 1993. Comparative plant demography-relative importance of lifecycle components to the finite rate of increase in wooldy and herbaceous perennials. J Ecol 81: 465–476.Google Scholar
  28. Skøanes, H. Landscape change and grassland dynamicsretrospective studies based on aerial photographs and old cadastral maps during 200 years in south Sweden. Doctoral thesis. Department of Physical Greography, Stockholm University. Stockholm, Sweden.Google Scholar
  29. Sporrong, U. 1990. Land survey maps as historical resources. In National Atlas of Sweden, Maps and mapping, pp. 136–145. Edited by U. Sporrong and H. F. Wennström. SNA förlag. Stockholm, Sweden.Google Scholar
  30. Steinberg, E. K. and Kareiva, P. 1998. Challanges and opportunities for empirical evaluation of 'spatial theory'. In Spatial ecology: the Role of Space in Population Dynamics and Interspecific Interactions. pp. 318–332. Edited by D. Tilman and P. Kareiva. Monographs in population biology. Princeton University Press, London, UK.Google Scholar
  31. Tollin, C. 1991. Ättebackar och ödegärden. De äldre lantmäterikartorna i kulturmiljövården. Riksantikvarieämbetet, Uppsala, Sweden 96 pp. (in Swedish).Google Scholar
  32. Usher, M. B. 1981. Modelling ecological succession, with particular reference to Markovian models. Vegetatio 46: 11–18.Google Scholar
  33. Valverde, T. and Silvertown, J. 1997. A metapopulation model for Primula vulgaris, a temperate forest understorey herb. J Ecol 85: 193–210.Google Scholar
  34. White, M. A. and Mladenoff, D. J. 1994. Old-growth forest landscape transitions from pre-European settlement to present. Landsc Ecol 9: 191–205.Google Scholar
  35. Wiens, J. A. 1995. Landscape mosaics and ecological theory. In Mosaic Landscapes and Ecological Processes, pp. 1–26. Edited by L. Hansson, L. Fahrig and G. Merriam. Chapman and Hall, London, UK.Google Scholar
  36. Widgren, M. 1983. Settlement and farming systems in early Iron Age: a study of fossil agrarian landscapes in Östergötland, Sweden. Stockholm studies in Human Geography. Almquist and Wiksell, Stockholm, Sweden.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara A.O. Cousins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical GeographyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations