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    Author(s): Benjamin C. Jones; Jennifer L. Kleitch; Craig A. Harper; David A. Buehler
    Date: 2009
    Source: Forest Ecology and Management. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2008.02.019
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (236.9 KB)

    Description

    Brood habitat quality and availability may be a limiting factor for ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) populations in the central and southern Appalachians. We measured brood habitat characteristics at forest stand and microhabitat scales in western North Carolina. From 2000 to 2004, we monitored radiotagged females with broods (n = 36) from hatch to 5 weeks post-hatch. We measured habitat characteristics and invertebrates at 186 brood locations and 186 paired, random locations. Brood sites had greater percent herbaceous ground cover, greater percent vertical cover 0– 2 m, greater density of midstory stems <11.4 cm DBH, and greater invertebrate density compared with random sites. Seventeen broods survived the 5-week post-hatch period and were available for home range and second order habitat preference analysis. Mean 75% kernel home range was 24.3 ha (±4.0 S.E.). Top-ranked habitats for relative preference were mixed hardwoods in the 0–5, 6–20, and >80-year age classes, forest roads, and edges of maintained wildlife openings. Broods often were associated with managed stands. From this information, we recommend forest management prescriptions to enhance Appalachian ruffed grouse brood habitat. # 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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    Citation

    Jones, Benjamin C.; Kleitch, Jennifer L.; Harper, Craig A.; Buehler, David A. 2008. Ruffed grouse brood habitat use in a mixed hardwood forest: implications for forest management in the Appalachians. Forest Ecology and Management. 255: 3580-3588. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2008.02.019

    Keywords

    Appalachians Bonasa umbellus broods forest management habitat use home range invertebrates ruffed grouse

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