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Lek area characteristics of capercaillie ( Tetrao urogallus ) in eastern Finland as analysed from satellite-based forest inventory data

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Lek area characteristics of capercaillie were studied in eastern Finland. Lekking site data of 42 leks were collected in spring 2000. Satellite images and the Geographical Information System were used to divide the landscape into eight classes and described by means of circles of 11 different sizes (radius 250–4000m) around the leks. The leks were compared with the average landscape, represented by 50 random points, and studied according to male lek attendance. Mature forests and thinning forests were more abundant and advanced seedling stands less abundant around the leks than in an average landscape. Most of these differences extended up to 750m distance from the lek. The number of males per lek was best explained by the proportion and patch size of the thinning forests. The effects of landscape structure on the number of cocks were detectable over a wide range, but were strongest within a radius of 1–2km. The results are discussed in relation to landscape ecology and management applications.
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Keywords: Boreal forests; GIS; capercaillie; landscape ecology; lekking sites

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Rovaniemi Research Station, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi, Finland 2: Oulu Game and Fisheries Research, Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Oulu, Finland

Publication date: 01 August 2005

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