Landscape genetics and behavioral ecology of Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido)

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dc.contributor.author Gregory, Andrew J.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-04-29T14:55:33Z
dc.date.available 2011-04-29T14:55:33Z
dc.date.issued 2011-04-29
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/8530
dc.description.abstract Anthropogenic activities and climate change have dramatically altered landscapes worldwide. The ability of species to cope and adapt to ongoing changes is likely a function of their behavior, movements, and sensitivity to fragmentation. Greater Prairie-Chickens (GPC) are a lek mating grouse native to the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC), for which inbreeding depression and anthropogenic avoidance are a concern. The goals of my dissertation were to: 1) identify genetic correlates of male performance which may influence population viability under current land use practices, 2) identify GPC habitat characteristics and delineate areas of critical GPC habitat necessary for GPC conservation, and 3) identify the relative importance of distance and habitat quality for maintaining genetic connectivity among spatially structured populations. First, I found male reproductive success and survival to be positively associated with genetic diversity. Using multistate modeling in Program Mark, male survival across the observed range of variation in number of alleles (15-22) increased more than fourfold from 0.17 to 0.77. Second, I found 35-40% of Kansas, and 1.5 % (11,000 Km squared) of the GPLCC, were considered high-quality lek habitats. Top performing logistic models predicting lek presence (wi=0.95) included strong effects of grassland cover and avoidance of anthropogenic disturbance. When this model was applied to putative future landscapes based on climate change and current land use trends over a 70-year period, I found a 27-40% reduction in habitat area and a 137 Km southeast shift in habitat distribution. Under equilibrium conditions we expect isolation by distance (IBD) to explain the distribution of genetic diversity. However, if the landscape restricts dispersal, then we might observe isolation by resistance (IBR). I used model selection procedures to choose among competing IBR or IBD models to explain the distribution of genetic diversity among GPC populations across Kansas and the GPLCC. IBD was never supported (R-square<0.02, P>0.09). The best models for Kansas (R2=0.69, P<0.02) and for the GPLCC (R-square=0.46, P<0.02) indicated that human-mediated landscape changes have influenced landscape permeability for dispersal. The integration of behavioral, landscape, and genetic data provided new insights on prairie-chicken ecology, and is a powerful approach for developing conservation strategies for sensitive species. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Funding and equipment for this research were provided by consortium of wind energy companies and conservation organizations including: The Nature Conservancy, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Kansas State University, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Renewable Energies Laboratory, National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, Horizon Wind Energy, BP Alternative Energy, PPL Energy, FPL Energy, and Competitive Power Ventures (technical monitor for this consortium was Karin Sinclair of the National Renewable Energies Lab). I’d also like to thank Kansas State University and the Division of Biology for their support of this research. In addition to the funding sources already listed I was also supported through the National Science Foundation in the form of 1-year GK-12 fellowship, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Landscape Conservation Cooperative grant, and from the J.E. Weaver Competitive Grants Initiative of The Nature Conservancy. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Landscape genetics en_US
dc.subject permeability modeling en_US
dc.subject Behavioral Ecology en_US
dc.title Landscape genetics and behavioral ecology of Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Department of Biology en_US
dc.description.advisor Brett K. Sandercock en_US
dc.description.advisor Samantha Wisely en_US
dc.subject.umi Animal Sciences (0475) en_US
dc.subject.umi Biology (0306) en_US
dc.subject.umi Ecology (0329) en_US
dc.date.published 2011 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth May en_US


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