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Title: Investigating the great crested newt landscape in a pond rich environment : developing a landscape scale management perspective
Author: Hollinshead, James Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 7426
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis investigated graph theoretic analysis of connectivity and habitat availability for landscape scale management of Triturus cristatus, the Great Crested Newt. The ecological foundations of wider landscape management concepts and knowledge base on T. cristatus' habitat requirements, dispersal and migration were explored. Species presence, and aquatic and terrestrial habitat on the Cholmondeley Estate, Malpas, Cheshire, UK was mapped and land cover characterized for suitability and traversibility by T. cristatus. Habitat area available and accessible from ponds were identified. Analysis and modelling of pondscape connectivity using Probability of Connectivity (PC) and related indices, was carried out using Euclidean and Cost Weighted Distance and pond clustering at ecologically relevant scales was examined. Association or correlation of presence with proximity to breeding ponds, pond cluster size, proximity and available quantity of terrestrial habitat, proximity to roads and moving water, and connectivity of breeding ponds were examined at Cost Weighted and Euclidean distances. Connectivity, (PC index), pond count in clusters at 250 and 500m thresholds of connectivity, and proximity to core habitat (broad leaved woodland and rough grassland) using Cost Weighted distances were positively associated with breeding presence. Road proximity and density, proximity of core habitat at Euclidean distances and mean inter-pond distance were not significantly associated with breeding presence. Proximity to moving water was negatively associated with breeding presence. Resistance to movement of various land cover types has important implications for habitat availability and connectivity, , / and important questions are raised in terms of "rule of thumb" guidelines for estimation of connectivity between pond populations and habitat availability around breeding ponds. Graph analysis was used to identify priority areas for maintenance of landscape level connectivity, and enhancement of habitat connectivity and availability on the local population scale, with prioritization of pond creation/protection sites against their contribution to connectivity and habitat I availability, examining various scenarios.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: GE Environmental Sciences ; QH Natural history