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Contested Landscapes: social-ecological interactions between forestry and reindeer husbandry
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Arcum)
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Throughout northern Fennoscandia, reindeer husbandry is a central part in the cultural heritage of the Sámi people. In its history, Sámi culture and reindeer husbandry have undergone significant adaptations to environmental, social and political challenges. Landscape changes on the winter grazing grounds were mainly driven by resource exploitation, especially by industrialized forestry. Important grazing resources were lost, i.e. terrestrial and arboreal lichens that constitute essential key elements in the herding year.

In my thesis, I explore the consequences of these transformations in Swedish boreal forests for reindeer husbandry. The multi-disciplinary approach integrates interview studies, ecological fieldwork and theoretical modeling of forest development.

I emphasize the understanding of landscapes as multi-dimensional concepts with ecological, social and economic components. They interact in determining the amount of landscape fragmentation in physical or administrative ways, or in enabling reindeer herders to move between different landscape elements. These elements, e.g. forest stands of different ages, can react differently to winter weather. Thus, they enable reindeer herders to adjust their grazing grounds according to the availability of forage, mediated by snow conditions. However, forestry practices have reduced the abundance of old-growth forests, and therewith the functionality of the landscape. By comparing snow conditions in different forest types, I show that multi-layered canopies can offer a more diverse pattern of snow hardness. However, the interaction between forest characteristics with snow is strongly dependent on weather conditions, e.g. the timing and intensity of warm spells. The prevalence of single-layered forest stands therefore can lead to a reduction in snow variability and potentially restricts the availability of suitable grazing grounds for reindeer. If snow conditions hinder reindeer in foraging on terrestrial lichens, old forests formerly supplied reindeer with arboreal lichens. I show how industrial forestry has reduced the availability of this emergency forage by the reduction of old forests and increased landscape fragmentation and analyze the consequences of different management strategies on future habitat availability for arboreal lichens. By integrating these results into a model of forest management, I offer insights into consequences arising from different priorities that either favor timber production or the development of lichen-rich grazing grounds.

In conclusion, I emphasize the importance of landscape diversity, as well as the ability to make use of this diversity, as a source of adaptability of reindeer husbandry to changes in grazing conditions by e.g. winter weather dynamics. A shared future of reindeer husbandry and forestry could be fostered by encouraging the social-ecological co-evolution of multiple use landscapes and the enhancement of the cultural and biological significance of the Swedish boreal forests.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2013. , 35 p.
Keyword [en]
Reindeer husbandry, forestry, adaptive capacity, arboreal lichens, snow, winter pasture, natural resource management, multiple use, land-use conflict, habitat fragmentation
National Category
Ecology Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66386ISBN: 978-91-7459-535-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-66386DiVA: diva2:606665
Public defence
2013-03-22, KBC huset, Lilla Hörsalen (KB3A9), Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2013-03-01 Created: 2013-02-19 Last updated: 2016-11-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Exploring the multiple use of boreal landscapes: the importance of social-ecological diversity for mobility and flexibility
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the multiple use of boreal landscapes: the importance of social-ecological diversity for mobility and flexibility
2014 (English)In: Human Ecology, ISSN 0300-7839, E-ISSN 1572-9915, Vol. 42, no 5, 671-682 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sustainable multiple use of landscapes can be a challenging task for the stakeholders involved, especially when they have competing interests with respect to natural resource management. In this paper we analyze the consequences associated with “landscape diversity”, including the interactions between environmental, administrative and societal factors. As a case study, we describe winter land use for reindeer husbandry in the boreal forest in Northern Sweden, a resource that is also used for commercial timber production. We show how and why the interactions between the three factors associated with landscape diversity affect reindeer herding and the options for responding to change. Multi-dimensional landscape diversity can either (i) promote flexibility in the face of change in the form of mobility or (ii) create fragmentation that restricts adaption to changes. This is a result of the dynamic patterns of diverse landscape structures, created by administrative and societal choices. Because such landscape patterns react differently to environmental variability within a season and between years, landscape functions adjusted to the dynamics of environmental variables could help to provide continuity of grazing resources in both space and time and ensure that reindeer husbandry remains resilient to changes. Because of the unequal distribution of power and capacity for decision making, social learning between the two stakeholders can help to balance trade-offs between both types of land user, allowing them to coexist in a landscape shaped by diverse values, priorities and management practices.

Keyword
natural resource management, multiple use, reindeer herding, forestry, land-use conflict
National Category
Cultural Studies Social Anthropology Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66373 (URN)10.1007/s10745-014-9687-z (DOI)000343723700002 ()2-s2.0-84920952250 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2013-02-19 Created: 2013-02-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Does forest stand structure impact the dynamics of snow on winter grazing grounds of reindeer (Rangifer t. tarandus)?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>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, E-ISSN 1872-7042, Vol. 291, 162-171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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
Keyword
Boreal forests, snow, forestry, reindeer husbandry, foraging, winter pasture
National Category
Ecology Forest Science Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66371 (URN)10.1016/j.foreco.2012.10.044 (DOI)000316827500017 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2013-02-19 Created: 2013-02-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. The legacy of logging-estimating arboreal lichen occurrence in a boreal multiple-use landscape on a two century scale
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The legacy of logging-estimating arboreal lichen occurrence in a boreal multiple-use landscape on a two century scale
2011 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 6, no 12, e28779- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In northern Sweden, the availability of arboreal lichens (Bryoria fuscescens, Alectoria sarmentosa) as winter grazing resources is an important element in reindeer husbandry. With the industrialization of forestry, forests rich in arboreal lichens have diminished considerably. Here, we analyze how forestry has impacted lichen availability from the 1920's to the present day and model its future development assuming different forest management scenarios. We recorded the current occurrence of B. fuscescens in 144 sampling plots, stratified by forest age class and dominant tree species in a 26,600 ha boreal forest landscape that is used for both reindeer herding and forestry. Lichen abundance was visually estimated in four classes: none, sparse, moderate and abundant. A binary logistic model using forest age as the independent variable was developed to predict the probability of lichens being present. Using this model, we found that lichens were present in stands that are at least 63 years old. Because of the relative paucity of stands rich in arboreal lichens, it was not possible to reliably determine how age affects the variation in abundance of older forest stands. The historical development of forests where arboreal lichens could potentially occur was studied using historic forestry records dating back 80 years. Between 1926 and the present day, forestry has reduced the cover of forests older than 60 years from 84% to 34%. The likely future spatial coverage of these stands over the next 120 years was estimated for two different management scenarios and an unmanaged reference scenario, using the Heureka strategic planning program. Under both the "business as usual'' scenario and that involving more intensive forestry, continued decreases in lichen availability are projected. Our results emphasize the importance of alternative forestry practices, such as prolonged rotation periods, to increase the availability of arboreal lichens as a grazing resource for reindeer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public library of science, 2011
Keyword
semi-domesticated reindeer; spruce-fir forest; epiphytic lichens; northern sweden; alectorioid lichens; canopy microclimate; mountain caribou; management; snow; biomass
National Category
Ecology Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-52037 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0028779 (DOI)000298664400018 ()
Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-08 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
4. Contested boreal landscapes – consequences of different forest management priorities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contested boreal landscapes – consequences of different forest management priorities
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When managing natural resources, the requirements of several stakeholders often need to be considered, as their competing aims and interests need to be delivered in different ways. Agreeing on trade-offs and finding optimal solutions is often a demanding task, particularly if the actions of one land user make it difficult for others to utilize natural resources in a specific way.In this case study, we explore the consequences of two different forest management scenarios on forest characteristics and economic gains in two particular study areas in the Swedish boreal forest. The management strategies differ by prioritizing either i) forest characteristics that sustain reindeer grazing or ii) timber production as practiced in Swedish forestry today. However, simplifications that affect our models include the assumption of only one landowner and a management focus on the stand level. Further, we do not evaluate the direct consequences of the two scenarios on reindeer husbandry, as only selected parts of the winter grazing grounds are considered.Depending on the management strategy, forest characteristics differ, e.g. the composition of age classes or timber volume. Compared to management for timber production, forests managed for reindeer grazing are characterized by a higher abundance of older age classes with larger trees, but lower stem density. We found that, over a 100 year period, these forest characteristics generated revenues of approximately 80 % of those resulting from management focused on timber production.These differences and their resulting consequences illustrate the contrasting preferences for particular forest characteristics of the two land users. However, to understand them as principles for potential trade-offs, they have to be interpreted carefully in relation to the range of possible management options available to achieve sustainability in the multiple-use situation of Swedish boreal forests, as well as to enhance their cultural and biological value.

Keyword
multiple use management, trade-off, land use conflict, reindeer herding, forestry
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66374 (URN)
Funder
Formas
Available from: 2013-02-19 Created: 2013-02-19 Last updated: 2013-02-20

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