Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Book chapter2022Peer reviewedOpen access

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 Title: Reindeer Husbandry and Global Environmental Change : Pastoralism in Fennoscandia
ISBN: 978-0-367-63267-0, eISBN: 978-1-003-11856-5
Publisher: Routledge