Selection of landscapes by male ruffed grouse during peak abundance.

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Selection of landscapes by male ruffed grouse during peak abundance.

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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.

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Kouffeld, Meadow Jean. (2011). Selection of landscapes by male ruffed grouse during peak abundance.. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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