A community-level approach to identify important brood habitats of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) may prove useful in guiding management actions because it acknowledges that important habitat components are not ecologically independent from each other. We used principal components analysis to combine insect and vegetation variables into community gradients and used logistic regression to link these components with brood survival and occurrence. We found that brood success was higher when broods occurred in specific insect-vegetation community types. A relationship between brood occurrence and insect-vegetation gradients was not apparent. The high resolution of the data and the solid validation performance suggest that identifying insect-vegetation communities is a promising technique for quantifying sage-grouse habitat relationships. This approach offers land managers a way of identifying important sage-grouse habitat that is ecologically aligned with traditional community-level land management practices (e.g., fire management, rotational grazing, vegetation manipulation, etc.).
Harju, Seth M.; Olson, Chad V.; Foy-Martin, Lisa; Webb, Stephen L.; Dzialak, Matthew R.; Winstead, Jeffrey B.; and Hayden-Wing, Larry D.
"Occurrence and success of greater sage-grouse broods in relation to insect-vegetation community gradients,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 7
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol7/iss2/4