+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Quantifying functional connectivity: The role of breeding habitat, abundance, and landscape features on range-wide gene flow in sage-grouse

Quantifying functional connectivity: The role of breeding habitat, abundance, and landscape features on range-wide gene flow in sage-grouse

Evolutionary Applications 11(8): 1305-1321

Functional connectivity, quantified using landscape genetics, can inform conservation through the identification of factors linking genetic structure to landscape mechanisms. We used breeding habitat metrics, landscape attributes, and indices of grouse abundance, to compare fit between structural connectivity and genetic differentiation within five long-established Sage-Grouse Management Zones (MZ) I-V using microsatellite genotypes from 6,844 greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) collected across their 10.7 million-km2 range. We estimated structural connectivity using a circuit theory-based approach where we built resistance surfaces using thresholds dividing the landscape into "habitat" and "nonhabitat" and nodes were clusters of sage-grouse leks (where feather samples were collected using noninvasive techniques). As hypothesized, MZ-specific habitat metrics were the best predictors of differentiation. To our surprise, inclusion of grouse abundance-corrected indices did not greatly improve model fit in most MZs. Functional connectivity of breeding habitat was reduced when probability of lek occurrence dropped below 0.25 (MZs I, IV) and 0.5 (II), thresholds lower than those previously identified as required for the formation of breeding leks, which suggests that individuals are willing to travel through undesirable habitat. The individual MZ landscape results suggested terrain roughness and steepness shaped functional connectivity across all MZs. Across respective MZs, sagebrush availability (<10%-30%; II, IV, V), tree canopy cover (>10%; I, II, IV), and cultivation (>25%; I, II, IV, V) each reduced movement beyond their respective thresholds. Model validations confirmed variation in predictive ability across MZs with top resistance surfaces better predicting gene flow than geographic distance alone, especially in cases of low and high differentiation among lek groups. The resultant resistance maps we produced spatially depict the strength and redundancy of range-wide gene flow and can help direct conservation actions to maintain and restore functional connectivity for sage-grouse.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 065452754

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30151042

DOI: 10.1111/eva.12627

Related references

The genetic network of greater sage-grouse: Range-wide identification of keystone hubs of connectivity. Ecology and Evolution 8(11): 5394-5412, 2018

Range-wide connectivity of priority areas for Greater Sage-Grouse: Implications for long-term conservation from graph theory. Condor 119(1): 44-57, 2017

Extending Conifer Removal and Landscape Protection Strategies from Sage-grouse to Songbirds, a Range-Wide Assessment. Rangeland Ecology & Management 70(1): 95-105, 2017

A flexible approach for assessing functional landscape connectivity, with application to greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Plos one 8(12): E82271, 2013

Society for Range Management Issue Paper: Ecology and Management of Sage-Grouse and Sage-Grouse Habitat--A Reply. Rangelands 28(3): 3-7, 2006

Greater Sage-Grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ) select habitat based on avian predators, landscape composition, and anthropogenic features. The Condor 116(4): 629-642, 2014

Role of habitat heterogeneity and landscape connectivity in shaping gene flow and spatial population structure of a dominant rodent species in a tropical dry forest. Journal of Zoology 298(4): 293-302, 2016

Range-wide patterns of greater sage-grouse persistence. Diversity and Distributions 14(6): 983-994, 2008

Landscape-Level Assessment of Brood Rearing Habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse in Nevada. Journal of Wildlife Management 74(7): 1533-1543, 2010

Seasonal Habitat Use by Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) on a Landscape with Low Density Oil and Gas Development. Plos one 11(10): E0165399, 2016

Greater Sage-Grouse Winter Habitat Use on the Eastern Edge of Their Range. The Journal of Wildlife Management 77(3): 486-494, 2013

Greater sage-grouse winter habitat use on the eastern edge of their range. Journal of Wildlife Management 77(3): 486-494, 2013

Habitat use by breeding male sage grouse a management approach. Great Basin Naturalist 49(3): 404-407, 1989

Integrating spatially explicit indices of abundance and habitat quality: an applied example for greater sage-grouse management. Journal of Applied Ecology 53(1): 83-95, 2016

Breeding season movements and habitat selection of male sage grouse. Journal of Wildlife Management 384: 634-637, 1974