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The development of established shrub seedlings in persistent historical reindeer milking grounds
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Johan Olofsson)
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on how established shrub seedlings (Salix myrsinifolia x phycilifolia and Vaccinium vitis-idaea) develop in historical milking grounds. Historical milking grounds are cultural remains from the intensive reindeer herding era when the Sami migrated with closely controlled herds. Although the places were never fenced, the high concentration of reindeer close to the tenting grounds created patches of grass and forb dominated vegetation in areas outherwise dominated by deciduous or ericoid shrubs. Despite about 100 years of abandonment the shrubs have not come back and the milking grounds are still clearly visible in the landscape. One theory why the former milking grounds are so stable is that shrubs cannot establish from seedlings due to unfavorable abiotic conditions, or due to competitive dominance of already established forbs and grasses. I tested this hypothesis by planting shrub seedlings in the milking grounds and in reference areas, with and without neighboring vegetation and investigated seedling survival and growth. The results show that shrub seedlings are able to both survive and develop in milking grounds suggesting that the seedling state is not the limiting factor in shrub encroachment in the milking grounds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 11 p.
Keyword [en]
Milking ground, shrub seedlings, seedling establishment, reindeer, grazing, tundra, vegetation shift
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-98888OAI: diva2:783911
Educational program
Bachelor of Science in Biology and Earthscience
Available from: 2015-01-28 Created: 2015-01-27 Last updated: 2015-01-28Bibliographically approved

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Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
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