Grouse species as a conservation tool

Grouse species as a conservation tool - effects of habitat dynamics on
distribution and abundance of the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix)
Sara Cristofoli1,2, 2002
Supervisor: Per Angelstam 3,4
Department of Biology, Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix,
5000 Namur, Belgium
Institutionen för Evolutionsbiology, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Conservation
Biology, Grimsö Wildlife Research Station, 730 91Riddarhyttan, Sweden
Centre for landscape biology, Department of Natural Sciences, University
of Örebro, 701 82 Örebro, Sweden
Biodiversity management should ideally consider all the components of
biodiversity, i.e. species, habitats, genes and ecosystem functions, at multiple
scales ranging from a single tree, to the forest management unit and up to
landscapes in regions. At each scale, a number of different actors are involved.
Being easy to communicate, the species component of biodiversity is, therefore, of
particular interest. This has lead to the concept of umbrella species, which should
be the most area-demanding specialised species for each type of environment.
Boreal forests are characterised by their dynamic: they are dominated of a patchy
distribution of different successional stages within the forest. Swedish boreal
forests therefore provide a good opportunity to study if and how animal
assemblages respond to this patchiness: they can therefore be used as benchmarks
for setting conservation targets for region where habitat rehabilitation is needed to
maintain biodiversity.
This thesis has three parts. First I review the habitat and other factors that affect
black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) at the level of individuals, populations and metapopulations. Then I present the results from a field study about the temporal
dynamics of vegetation structure and food plants after clear-cutting in boreal
forest. Finally, I report a study on the effects of 23 years of landscape dynamics on
the distribution and abundance of the black grouse. The results of the second field
study are discussed in the context of black grouse conservation in Europe.
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