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Traditional land use of the boreal forest landscape: Examples from Lierne, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway

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Abstract:

Nature conservation in Norway is based on the idea that wilderness and forest nature reserves should be left to develop naturally. Several studies show that forests have been influenced by human activities to a large extent. The article documents former land use practices in a boreal forest landscape in Nordli, Central Norway, and discussed the ecological consequences with respect to conservation. Traditionally, outfield resources were utilized for haymaking, pollarding, coppicing, grazing, and summer farming. Fodder harvesting methods were closely related to ecological conditions and the production level in the boreal forest landscape. Systematic burning to improve the forest pastures was a natural part of the traditional farming system. The forests were still utilized for grazing as late as 1973. In the ‘man-influenced’ landscape in Nordli, two boreal forest areas are protected due both to their wilderness character and the presence of native forest species. However, these nature reserves are parts of an extensively utilized forest landscape, where also human footprints are found. It is concluded that to ensure successful conservation of the biodiversity of these and other such forests, former land use practices should be documented, and management schemes should be developed on the basis of the acquired knowledge.

Keywords: biological diversity; boreal forest; conservation; land use history; management

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00291951.2012.760002

Affiliations: Grassland and Landscape Division, Bioforsk – Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Kvithamar NO-7500, Stjørdal, Norway

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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