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Title: The distribution of upland breeding waders at multiple spatial scales
Author: Bradter, Ute
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 0123
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2010
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Species distribution models are a valuable tool in conservation and research. This thesis addressed three common constraints of such models: the lack of detailed vegetation data for large areas. the inclusion of variables at arbitrary spatial scales which can lead to wrong conclusions as processes are scale dependent. 3) the potentially large number of variables and associated problems in variable selection when models include the landscape context. A novel technique combining a multiple scale species distribution model with image interpretation classified 24 detailed vegetation communities and an additional class for trees and bushes of the Yorkshire Dales at a high resolution (5 m) with overall high accuracies (87 - 92%). A novel selection procedure was developed capable of selecting important variables at appropriate spatial scales from a large number of variables. Models were presented on the example of curlew (Numenius arquata) and lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) in the Yorkshire Dales. Predictive ability of most resulting • models was moderate to high (AUC = 0.84 - 0.97). Lapwing presence was positively associated with gentle slopes and negatively with soil of low fertility at a large scale (10 km) while locally (250 - 500 m) lapwing preferred soil with impeded drainage and acid grassland. Curlew presence was negatively associated with westerly facing slope and curlew density positively with south facing slope (above a threshold of 14%) at large scales (9 - 10 km). Curlew presence was negatively associated with freely draining soil and settlements and positively with bogs at small scales (250 - 750 m). Near paths, density of curlew was higher if less of the path was in view at a small scale (250 m). Hatching success of curlew was strongly negatively related with settlements within 1 km. At nests, curlew preferred vegetation of intermediate height (ea. 40 cm).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available