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A lot of semi-natural grassland species are threatened with extinction due to fragmentations and drastic declines of grasslands in the landscape. However, this study shows that these species might be more common in the landscape than assumed due to remnant grassland populations in coniferous production forests with a history of grassland management. Since grassland species are in need of more suitable habitats and connectivity in the landscape, the result highlights the use of such forests in grassland conservation and restoration. The conservation can be done by postponing afforestation, mowing or grazing a time after harvest and planting deciduous trees instead of coniferous. Access to old land use maps which makes it possible to track down areas with grassland history are available and cover large parts of the Swedish landscape and other European countries. Thus conservation methods can be used at a large scale. However, the intense forestry over the last century has changed the composition of the forest and the landscape drastically, which results in a high threat to remnant populations. Therefore, actions must be taken soon, otherwise remnant grassland populations in the forest landscape will go extinct in the future.

Responsible for this page: Agneta Johansson
Last updated: 05/18/15