Forest Fragmentation and Landscape Transformation in a Reindeer Husbandry Area in Sweden
2012 (English)In: Environmental Management, ISSN 0364-152X, E-ISSN 1432-1009, Vol. 49, no 2, 295-304 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Reindeer husbandry and forestry are two main land users in boreal forests in northern Sweden. Modern forestry has numerous negative effects on the ground-growing and arboreal lichens that are crucial winter resources for reindeer husbandry. Using digitized historical maps, we examined changes in the forest landscape structure during the past 100 years, and estimated corresponding changes in suitability of forest landscape mosaics for the reindeer winter grazing. Cover of old coniferous forests, a key habitat type of reindeer herding system, showed a strong decrease during the study period, whereas clear-cutting and young forests increased rapidly in the latter half of the 20th century. The dominance of young forests and fragmentation of old-growth forests (decreased patch sizes and increased isolation) reflect decreased amount of arboreal lichens as well as a lowered ability of the landscape to sustain long-term persistence of lichens. The results further showed that variation in ground lichen cover among sites was mainly related to soil moisture conditions, recent disturbances, such as soil scarification and prescribed burning, and possibly also to forest history. In general, the results suggest that the composition and configuration of the forest landscape mosaic has become less suitable for sustainable reindeer husbandry.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Springer-Verlag New York, 2012. Vol. 49, no 2, 295-304 p.
Boreal forest, Forestry, Fragmentation, Lichens, Rangifer tarandus tarandus, Reindeer husbandry
Ecology Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-53943DOI: 10.1007/s00267-011-9788-zISI: 000301300200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-53943DiVA: diva2:515176