Performance of the Endemic Alpine Herb Primula scandinavica in a Changing European Mountain Landscape
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAnnales Botanici Fennici. 2015, 52 (3-4), 171-180. 10.5735/085.052.0307
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.