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Title: The long-term viability of black grouse Tetrao tetrix populations in a changing upland landscape
Author: Geary, Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 9650
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2012
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Ecological modelling is of great benefit to conservation research by allowing ecologists to investigate natural systems and make predictions about future conditions; applications of ecological modelling have been greatly improved in recent decades by methodological and technological advances. One research area where ecological modelling can contribute greatly is research into the impact of environmental changes on plant and animal populations (McRae et al. 2008). Land use changes have the potential to impact species of conservation concern through habitat loss and fragmentation, an effect that is exacerbated in anthropogenic landscapes where changes are driven by economic factors. The Scottish uplands are a working landscape which has seen numerous land use changes during the last 200 years. Increases in sheep Ovis aries numbers and the area covered by plantation forestry along with the changing fortunes of sporting estates have all had an effect on animal populations. The black grouse Tetrao tetrix is a medium sized game bird native to Eurasia. Black grouse are forest-edge specialists and are associated with scrub habitats bordering upland forestry and moorland. They have a polygynous mating system centred around communal displays called leks (Cramp 1980; Lindstrom, Rintamaki & Storch 1998; Watson & Moss 2008). Black grouse populations in Britain have been in decline since the beginning of the 20th century (Baines & Hudson 1995). The creation of new forestry coniferous plantations during the 1970s had an initial positive effect but as the canopy of these new forests closed the population continued to decrease in number (Pearce-Higgins et al. 2007). Black grouse have also been affected by overgrazing and poor moorland management (Watson & Moss 2008). The overall aim of this study was to use a suite of modelling approaches to assess the long-term viability of black grouse within the changing landscape of the Scottish uplands.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available