Landscape Ecology

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 847–859 | Cite as

Learning from the past to predict the future: using archaeological findings and GPS data to quantify reindeer sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbance in Norway

  • Manuela Panzacchi
  • Bram Van Moorter
  • Per Jordhøy
  • Olav Strand
Research Article


Norwegian wild reindeer Rangifer tarandus tarandus are divided into 23 virtually isolated populations, primarily due to the abandonment of traditional migration and movement corridors caused by the development of infrastructures. By conducting a nation-wide, interdisciplinary pre-post study on a temporal scale spanning centuries, we modelled current reindeer movements with respect to archaeological findings to quantify long-term changes in area use related to anthropogenic disturbance. The location of 3,113 pitfall traps and hunting blinds, built 600–2000 years ago and used until 350–400 years ago, testified the location of traditional movement corridors. Current movement routes were delineated using Brownian Bridge Movement Models based on 147 reindeer GPS-monitored during 10 years. Using Path Analysis we quantified direct, indirect and total effects of different infrastructures within multiple scales (1, 5, and 10 km-radius buffers) on the current probability of use of ancient movement corridors. Tourist cabins and roads had the strongest long-term direct effects at most scales: 1 tourist cabin and 1 km road within a 1 km-radius buffer would lead, respectively, to complete area abandonment, and to a 46 % decrease in the probability of use. Power lines and private cabins had significant indirect effects on area use through their effect on roads, while hiking trails and, in particular, hydroelectric dams had highly variable effects, not significant at a nation-wide scale. Finally, we provide a flexible tool to estimate the potential long-term direct and cumulative effects of different types of infrastructures at the desired spatial scale to be used for the development of future sustainable land management plans.


Landscape connectivity Historic ecology Anthropogenic disturbance Migration corridors Infrastructures Roads Dams Cabins Power lines Cumulative effects 



This study was funded by grants from the Norwegian Directorate for nature management and a grant from the Norwegian Research Council under the program Norwegian environmental research towards 2015. We thank Roy Andersen, Runar Hole, Endre Hage and many others for invaluable help in the field.

Supplementary material

10980_2012_9793_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 4925 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela Panzacchi
    • 1
  • Bram Van Moorter
    • 1
  • Per Jordhøy
    • 1
  • Olav Strand
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Nature ResearchTrondheimNorway

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