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Greater Sage-GrouseEcology and Conservation of a Landscape Species and Its Habitats$
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Steven Knick

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267114

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267114.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Connecting Pattern and Process in Greater Sage-Grouse Populations and Sagebrush Landscapes

Connecting Pattern and Process in Greater Sage-Grouse Populations and Sagebrush Landscapes

(p.382) (p.383) Chapter Sixteen Connecting Pattern and Process in Greater Sage-Grouse Populations and Sagebrush Landscapes
Greater Sage-Grouse

Steven T. Knick

Steven E. Hanser

University of California Press

Spatial patterns influence the processes that maintain Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) populations and sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) landscapes on which they depend. Connectivity analyses were carried out to delineate the dominant pattern of sagebrush landscapes; identify regions of the current range-wide distribution of greater sage-grouse important for conservation; estimate distance thresholds that potentially isolate populations; and understand how landscape pattern, environmental disturbance, or location within the spatial network influenced lek persistence during a population decline. The most important leks (breeding locations) for maintaining connectivity, characterized by higher counts of sage-grouse and connections with other leks, were within the core regions of the sagegrouse range. Sage-grouse populations presently have the highest levels of connectivity in the Wyoming Basin and lowest in the Columbia Basin Sage-Grouse Management Zones (SMZs). Connectivity among sage-grouse populations was lost during population declines from 1965–1979 to 1998-2007, most dramatically in the Columbia Basin SMZ. Leks that persisted during this period were larger in size, were more highly connected, and had lower levels of broad-scale fire and human disturbance.

Keywords:   Artemisia, Centrocercus urophasianus, Greater Sage-Grouse, sagebrush, spatial patterns, population declines, sagebrush landscapes, conservation, environmental disturbance, Sage-Grouse Management Zones

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