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Reindeer herding and modern forestry

the historical impacts on forests of two main land users in northern Sweden

Berg, Anna (2010). Reindeer herding and modern forestry. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2010:45
ISBN 978-91-576-7458-6
[Doctoral thesis]

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Forestry and reindeer herding are the two geographically most extensive forms of forest utilisation throughout the northern parts of Sweden today. Until the 18th century the interior parts of northern Sweden were predominately occupied by native Sami people. From the mid-18th century the area was rapidly colonized by farmers. In the late 19th century forestry, first in the form of high-grading of the larger trees and later as sustainable forest management, was introduced to the vast inland forests of northern Sweden. The overall aims of this thesis were to characterise and analyze different aspects of the effects of reindeer herding and modern forestry on the forest ecosystem in inland northernmost Sweden in the past, up to present time, and their consequent effects on each other. Two aspects have been of particular interest: (i) the effects of the practice by reindeer herders to cut trees to feed their reindeer with arboreal lichens, and (ii) the effects of modern forestry practices on forests important for reindeer winter grazing. The investigations have been based on a combination of field surveys, dendrochronological analysis, analysis of historical records including maps and forest surveys, and landscape analysis. The main findings of this thesis are 1) cutting of lichen trees for reindeer fodder have been a widespread and important practice up until the beginning of the 20th century. Scots pine and Norway spruce trees with abundant lichen cover were cut, and the practise were performed for different purposes, including emergency feeding during harsh winters and to gather the reindeers during movements. 2) Early forestry (logging of larger trees in old sparse forests) did not adversely affect winter grazing conditions for reindeer. 3) The fragmentation of the forest landscape and the use of various forestry measures greatly accelerated with the introduction of clear-cutting in the mid-20th century and this have had a predominantly negative influence on reindeer winter grazing areas. The overall conclusion is that forestry has mainly had negative influence on reindeer herding, especially since the mid-20th century. Despite this, reindeer herding have been able to adjust to major changes in overall land-use during the last few centuries. Historical information, preferably achieved from a combination of several methods, provide a background for the current land-use conflicts in reindeer herding areas and give important insights into longer trends of ecosystem changes.

Authors/Creators:Berg, Anna
Title:Reindeer herding and modern forestry
Subtitle:the historical impacts on forests of two main land users in northern Sweden
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2010
Number of Pages:62
ALLI Anna Berg, Björn Gunnarsson & Lars Östlund (2010). At this point, the lichens in the trees are their only means of survival– the history of tree cutting by native Sami people in northern Sweden to feed their reindeer during harsh winters. Accepted for publication in Environment and History (In press). II Anna Berg, Torbjörn Josefsson & Lars Östlund. Cutting of lichen trees – quantification of a survival strategy used before the 20th century in northern Sweden (Submitted manuscript). III Anna Berg, Lars Östlund , Jon Moen & Johan Olofsson (2008). A century of logging and forestry in a reindeer herding area in northern Sweden. Forest Ecology and Management 256 (5):1009-1020. IV Sonja Kivinen, Anna Berg, Jon Moen, Lars Östlund & Johan Olofsson. Long-term changes in boreal forest landscapes from a reindeer husbandry perspective. (Submitted manuscript). V Sonja Kivinen, Jon Moen, Anna Berg & Åsa Eriksson (2010). Effects of modern forest management on winter grazing resources for reindeer in Sweden. Accepted for publication in AMBIO (In press).
Place of Publication:Umeå
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7458-6
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agrovoc terms:reindeer, animal husbandry, forestry, forest management, history, lichenes, sweden
Keywords:forest history, Sami, interdisciplinary, lichen, grazing
Permanent URL:
ID Code:2290
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: Anna Berg
Deposited On:11 May 2010 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:17

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