This paper examines potential effects of predicted climate changes on the forage conditions during both summer and winter for semidomesticated reindeer in Sweden. Positive effects in summer ranges include higher plant productivity and a longer growing season, while negative effects include increased insect harassment. Forage quality may change in both positive and negative ways. An increase in shrubs and trees in alpine heaths is also likely. A warmer climate means shorter winters, which will have positive effects for the survival of reindeer. However, warmer and wetter weather may also result in increased probabilities of ice-crust formations, which strongly decrease forage availability. A warmer climate with higher forest productivity will also likely reduce lichen availability through competitive interactions. Adaptations to these changes will include maintaining a choice of grazing sites in both summer and winter. However, this capacity may already be severely limited because of other forms of land use.
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Vol. 37 • No. 4