Does forest stand structure impact the dynamics of snow on winter grazing grounds of reindeer (Rangifer t. tarandus)?
2013 (English)In: Forest Ecology and Management, ISSN 0378-1127, Vol. 291, 162-171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The landscape in boreal Sweden is dominated by even-aged, single-layered forest monocultures and clearcuts. Few forest stands with a more complex, multi-layered structure remain as landscape elements. Westudied the impact that different forest management regimes have on snow conditions and the metamorphosisof snow, and discuss how these factors may affect suitability for reindeer grazing.Over two winters, we recorded the development of snow depth and hardness in clear cuts and two differentforest types, and their changes with weather events. In the forests, the dynamics of snow characteristicswere analyzed in relation to stand structure and at the level of individual trees.There were no clear differences in snow characteristics between single-layered and multi-layeredstands, although snow hardness was more variable in the latter. In single-layered stands, snow depthand hardness were spatially uniformly distributed in relation to stand characteristics. Contrastingly,the complex structure of multi-layered stands did influence snow depth significantly. However, hardnesswas highly heterogeneous in these stands. Due to the absence of tree effects, clear cuts had deeper butsofter snow than forested stands, although hardness increased towards spring.Weather affected the metamorphosis of the snow blanket. The magnitude of the effects depended onboth timing and severity of discrete weather events and forest structure, but generally weather had agreater influence on snow cover characteristics than forest structure per se. In their interaction withweather, different forest structures affect the snow and thus suitability as winter grazing area for reindeer.Reindeer herders, therefore, require diversity in the landscape in order to respond to such weathervariations and their impact on grazing conditions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 291, 162-171 p.
Boreal forests, snow, forestry, reindeer husbandry, foraging, winter pasture
Ecology Forest Science Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66371DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2012.10.044ISI: 000316827500017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-66371DiVA: diva2:606336