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Book chapter - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Pastures under pressure : Effects of other land users and the environment

Horstkotte, Tim; Kumpula, Jouko; Sandström, Per; Tømmervik, Hans; Kivinen, Sonja; Skarin, Anna; Moen, Jon; Sandström, Stefan


Reindeer husbandry has a long history of sharing landscapes with a multitude of other forms of land use. By competing for space, industrial resource developments from the early 20th century onwards have affected where, when and how the landscape can be used for reindeer grazing. Extending from the local to the landscape level, these impacts can reduce pastures either directly or indirectly as a result of increasing landscape fragmentation or changing reindeer behaviour. Furthermore, environmental drivers influence the dynamics of forage availability or accessibility for reindeer. The observed trend of shrinking pastures in the three countries is caused by these cumulative impacts. As a consequence, grazing pressure on the remaining pastures increases, and it curtails reindeer herders’ options to respond to the challenges of climate change. Reversing the continuing decrease in pastures requires the restoration of grazing resources and increasing landscape connectivity to facilitate movement and grazing rotation. However, socio-political incentives are also required to sustain reindeer pastures in the future. This includes an increase in the influence of reindeer herders on land use decisions and the inclusion of their traditional ecological knowledge of pasture management to identify alternative approaches to natural resource management.

Published in

Earthscan Studies in Natural Resource Management
2022, pages: 76-98
Book title: Reindeer Husbandry and Global Environmental Change : Pastoralism in Fennoscandia
ISBN: 978-0-367-63267-0, eISBN: 978-1-003-11856-5
Publisher: Routledge

Authors' information

Horstkotte, Tim
Umeå University
Kumpula, Jouko
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management
Tømmervik, Hans
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
Kivinen, Sonja
University of Eastern Finland
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management
Moen, Jon
Umeå University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

Publication Identifiers


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