Agricultural ecology and ecosystem services
Semi-natural pastures in Sweden have almost vanished during last century and with them, many ecosystem services are diminished. We investigate the possibilities to make small scale organic beef production economical viable by designing coherent grazing land of pastures and forests mosaics. Thereby, we focus on the interplay between organic beef production, wood production, biodiversity, climate regulation and economy. We conduct field studies at farms along a climatic gradient from South to North Sweden, use participatory methods, and national inventories. The project is in co-operation with Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and stakeholders such as Environmental Protection Agency, county boards and organic beef entrepreneurs.
Contact: Annemieke Gärdenäs
Domestic honey bees, as well as wild bees, have pollen from flowering plants as their only source of amino acids and lipids needed for brood production and winter survival. They carry out a substantial part of the ecosystem service pollination, contributing both to the production and quality of several crops and to the stability and diversity of ecosystems. However, changes in landscape structure and land-use, leading to destruction and fragmentation of habitats, had a negative impact on population sizes of wild bees; furthermore, the native honey-bee has to a large degree been replaced by non-native races in beekeeping. Analysis of the pollen that bee collect inform us about how they utilise available plants and about their mutual or competitive relationships. We use pollen analysis as to get more information on managed and wild bee density, and how wild and managed pollinators interact; we also compare the resilience capacity of the indigenous Nordic bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) with other races that are commonly used for honey production in Scandinavia. There is support for differential adaptation to local and regional climate and vegetation in the subspecies and races of the honey bee (Apis mellifera).
We do parallel studies at five different apiaries in Sweden and Norway to understand preferences of the native and imported races with regard to the local flora and to find out if there are differences in phenological traits.
Project & Support: Formas Organic Agriculture Programme 221-2014-217 (ends 2020)
Contact: Åslög Dahl