Species inhabits a variety of arctic, alpine tundra and taiga habitats (Pitelka and Batzli 1993). At lower elevations (as with this subspecies) occurs within spruce bogs and wet meadows and above tree line associated with wet sedge-grass tundra (Buckley and Libby 1957, Kessel et al. 1982). Strongly associated with polygonal mesic habitats. Seasonal patterns in habitat use observed in Barrow Alaska with brown lemmings using higher, drier habitats during early summer and shifting to lower, wetter habitats once flooding recedes and during winter. All patterns were related to food availability, specifically clipped shoots during winter (Batzli et al. 1983).
Batzli, G. O., F. A. Pitelka, and G. N. Cameron. 1983. Habitat use by lemmings near Barrow, Alaska. Holarctic Ecology 6:255-262.
Buckley, J. L., and W. L. Libby. 1957. Research and reports on aerial interpretation of terrestrial bioenvironments and faunal populations. Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory, Fairbanks, Alaska, Technical Report 57-32.
Kessel, B., S. O. MacDonald, D. D. Gibson, B. A. Cooper, and B. A. Anderson. 1982. Birds and nongame mammals baseline studies. Susitna Hydroelectric Project Environmental Studies Phase I Final Report to the Alaska Power Authority.
Pitelka, F. A. and G. O. Batzli. 1993. Distribution, abundance, and habitat use by lemmings on the north slope of Alaska. Pp. 213-236 in The Biology of Lemmings (Stenseth, N. C. and R. A. Ims, eds). Academic Press, New York.