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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Multivariate clustering of reindeer herding districts in Sweden according to range prerequisites for reindeer husbandry

Lundqvist, H; Danell, O


The 51 reindeer herding districts in Sweden vary in productivity and prerequisites for reindeer herding. In this study we characterize and group reindeer herding districts based on relevant factors affecting reindeer productivity, i,e. topography, vegetation, forage value, habitat fragmentation and reachability, as well as season lengths, snow fall, ice-crust probability, and insect harassment, totally quantified in 15 variables. The herding districts were grouped into seven main groups and three single outliers through cluster analyses. The largest group, consisting of 14 herding districts, was further divided into four subgroups. The range properties of herding districts and groups of districts were characterized through principal component analyses. By comparisons of the suggested grouping of herding districts with existing administrative divisions, these appeared not to coincide. A new division of herding districts into six administrative sets of districts was suggested in order to improve administrative planning and management of the reindeer herding industry. The results also give possibilities for projections of alterations caused by an upcoming global climate change. Large scale investigations using geographical information systems (GIS) and meteorological data would be helpful for administrative purposes, both nationally and internationally, as science-based decision tools in legislative, economical, ecological and structural assessments

Published in

2007, volume: 27, number: 2, pages: 107-119
Publisher: Nordic Council for Reindeer Research (NOR)

Authors' information

Lundqvist, Henrik
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management
Danell, Öje
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Unit of Reindeer Husbandry

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Animal and Dairy Science
Veterinary Science

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