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Interlocking panarchies in multi-use boreal forests in Sweden

Jon Moen, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeň University
E. Carina H. Keskitalo, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeň University

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This paper uses northern Sweden as a case study of a multi-use social-ecological system, in which forestry and reindeer husbandry interact as different land use forms in the same area. We aim to describe the timeline of main events that have influenced resource use in northern Sweden, that is, to attempt a historical profiling of the system, and to discuss these trends in the system in terms of adaptive cycles and resilience. The study shows that key political decisions have created strong path dependencies and a situation in which forestry today is characterized by low flexibility and low resilience due to the highly optimized harvesting of tree resources. Since forestry is the overwhelmingly strongest actor, trends in forestry from the mid-19th century forward are, to a large part, driving dynamics in reindeer husbandry and environmental protection, resulting in a system of interlocking panarchies with large implications for the competing land uses.

Key words

adaptive cycles; boreal forests; conservation; forestry; historical profiling; panarchy; reindeer husbandry
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087