Human Ecology

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 671–682 | Cite as

Exploring the Multiple Use of Boreal Landscapes in Northern Sweden: The Importance of Social-Ecological Diversity for Mobility and Flexibility

  • Tim Horstkotte
  • Camilla Sandström
  • Jon Moen


Landscapes undergo changes in structure and function at multiple temporal and spatial levels. As a consequence of natural and anthropogenic drivers, these changes affect options for land use. We describe winter land use by reindeer husbandry in the boreal forest in Northern Sweden. The landscape changes in its suitability for husbandry practices due to environmental stochasticity and transformations due to other forms of land use. This creates structures that can either (i) promote flexibility in the form of mobility or (ii) create fragmentation that restricts adaptation to changes. As these drivers are interdependent in their influence on land use practices by reindeer herders, different choices regarding husbandry strategies have to be made within a season and between years. To allow such choices and ensure pastoral resilience to change, boreal forests should be regulated to provide continuity of grazing resources at multiple temporal and spatial levels.


Natural resource management Land-use conflict Reindeer husbandry Forestry Environmental governance Sweden 



We thank Lars-Evert Nutti from Sirges for sharing his knowledge and experiences. Two anonymous reviewers gave constructive comments that substantially increased the quality of the manuscript. This study was supported financially by the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning FORMAS to Jon Moen and by grants from the Göran Gustafssons Stiftelse för Natur och Miljö i Lappland to Tim Horstkotte.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of UmeåUmeåSweden
  2. 2.University of TurkuTurkuFinland

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