To comprehensively understand the impact of anthropogenic activities on biodiversity, we must understand how biodiversity has changed over time and its underlying processes. Regardless of a recent increase in scientific interest towards changes in community composition, i.e. beta diversity, these changes have not been studied comprehensively in lake environments in a spatio-temporal framework. In addition, although biotic homogenisation has gained much attention in recent decades, it is still unclear how this process acts at different levels of biodiversity through time.
The main aim of this thesis is to study temporal and spatial biodiversity patterns of vascular aquatic macrophyte communities in small boreal lakes during a period of 70 years. The focus is on beta diversity-environment relationships and different dimensions of biodiversity, with special attention to functional features. This thesis is based on three separate case studies that all have utilised temporal presence-absence data of vascular aquatic macrophytes from 27 to 28 lakes from the 1940s to the 2010s.