Effects of density on lek-site selection by Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix in the Alps

Nelli, L., Murru, M. and Meriggi, A. (2016) Effects of density on lek-site selection by Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix in the Alps. Bird Study, 63(2), pp. 187-195. (doi:10.1080/00063657.2016.1180503)

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Capsule: The Black Grouse is a primarily lekking species, but low population density and lack of suitable habitat can lead to the establishment of non-lekking populations. Aims: To understand if differences in density could be related to differences in the lekking system, if there were differences in lek-site selection, and if there was a direct effect of habitat on the lek size. Methods: We compared lek sizes between two Black Grouse populations with different male population densities as estimated by distance sampling. We considered land-cover categories, landscape metrics and orographic variables and computed the Ivlev’s Electivity Index to evaluate habitat selection of males in the two study areas. A general linear model was used to assess the relationship between lek size and habitat variables. Results: We could not demonstrate the direct effect of density on the displaying behaviour but we found strongly different patterns of lek-site selection and different effects of habitat on lek size according to the population density. Conclusions: We concluded that habitat normally considered as high quality and habitat complexity may play different roles in selection by solitary versus lekking males when different population densities are considered.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nelli, Dr Luca
Authors: Nelli, L., Murru, M., and Meriggi, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Bird Study
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1944-6705
Published Online:13 May 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Bird Study 63(2): 187-195
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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