Most research on ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) habitat selection has focused either on
habitat structure within their activity centers or characteristics of forest stands containing
activity centers. I studied the relationship between landscape configuration and density of
male grouse during the high portion of their cycle. I located 290 and 230 male grouse
during 2009 and 2010 respectively, on 30 landscapes encompassing 5,349 hectares. I
used information theoretic model selection to examine two sets of a priori models. The
top model in the first set was the null model (intercepts only), but a model representing
Shannon‘s Evenness Index was competing. This competing model contained the second
greatest cumulative weight (AICcwi = 0.203). Shannon‘s Evenness Index was positively
correlated with male grouse density (R= 0.43). The effect of Shannon‘s Evenness Index
within landscapes was difficult to interpret because it was confounded by cover type
dominance in landscapes. The proportion of the aspen cover type was positively
correlated (R= 0.55), and the proportion of the conifer cover type was negatively
correlated (R= -0.79) with Shannon‘s Evenness Index. The top ranked model in my second set of models was based on road density and had the greatest cumulative weight
(AICcwi= 0.52). Road density was negatively related to grouse density (R= -0.34), which
could mean either that hunting pressure affects density or habitats were different in
landscapes with higher road densities. The year only model indicated that male grouse
density declined from 2009 to 2010 (βYear= -0.014, 95% CI = -0.024 to -0.005).
University of MInnesota M.S. thesis. August 2011. Major: Natural resources science & management. Advisors: Dr. Ralph J. Gutierrez, Dr. Michael A. Larson. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 54 pages, appendices 1-3.
Kouffeld, Meadow Jean.
Selection of landscapes by male ruffed grouse during peak abundance..
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