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The matter of spatial and temporal scales: A review of reindeer and caribou response to human activity

Authors:
  • RHIPTO Rapid Response - Norwegian Center for Global Analyses

Abstract

Research on impacts of human activity and infrastructure development on reindeer and caribou (Rangifer tarandus) is reviewed in the context of spatial (m to many km) and temporal (min to decades) scales. Before the 1980s, most disturbance studies were behavioral studies of individual animals at local scales, reporting few and short-term (min to h) impacts within 0–2km from human activity. Around the mid 1980s, focus shifted to regional-scale landscape studies, reporting that Rangifer reduced the use of areas within 5km from infrastructure and human activity by 50–95% for weeks, months or even years and increased use of remaining undisturbed habitat far beyond those distances. The extent could vary with type of disturbance, sex, terrain, season, and sensitivity of herds. Of 85 studies reviewed, 83% of the regional studies concluded that the impacts of human activity were significant, while only 13% of the local studies did the same. Accurate assessment of impacts from human activity requires regional-scale studies, a pattern confirmed in a few long-term (decades) pre- and post-development studies. Such long-term studies are needed to improve understanding of both temporal and spatial patterns.
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... Forskningen om effekter av tekniska installationer och störningar har sammanställts vid flera tillfällen genom åren och det har också visat sig att för att få en helhetsbild av hur renarna använder sitt betesområde är det viktigt att studera renarnas betes-och förflyttningsmönster långsiktigt över tid och över hela deras betesområde och inte bara inom det lokala området nära ett ingrepp (Vistnes & Nellemann 2008;Skarin & Åhman 2014;Strand mfl. 2017). ...
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Chapter
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