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Conclusions:High proportions of native grass and low proportions of shrub cover are critical habitat components for maintaining viable sharp tailed grouse populations. *Note that this study generated landscape level models with coarse variables, and the thresholds and values used may not be directly applicable to other areas or for site-specific analysis.Thresholds/Learnings:Ideal shrub cover ranges from 5% to 15% and the ideal proportion of native grassland cover is >75% for sharp-tailed grouse*.
The lack of management experience at the landscape scale and the limited feasibility of experiments at this scale have increased the use of scenario modeling to analyze the effects of different management actions on focal species. However, current modeling approaches are poorly suited for the analysis of viability in dynamic landscapes. Demographic (e.g., metapopulation) models of species living in these landscapes do not incorporate the variability in spatial patterns of early successional habitats, and landscape models have not been linked to population viability models. We link a landscape model to a metapopulation model and demonstrate the use of this model by analyzing the effect of forest management options...