Associated Plant Communities
Sage-grouse are obligate residents of the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem, usually inhabiting sagebrush-grassland or juniper (Juniperus spp.) sagebrush-grassland communities. Meadows surrounded by sagebrush may be used as feeding grounds . Use of meadows with a crown cover of silver sagebrush (A. cana) is especially important in Nevada during the summer .
Sage-grouse occur throughout the range of big sagebrush (A. tridentata), except on the periphery of big sagebrush distribution or in areas where it has been eliminated . Sage-grouse prefer mountain big sagebrush (A. t. ssp. vaseyana) and Wyoming big sagebrush (A. t. spp. wyomingensis) communities to basin big sagebrush (A. t. spp. tridentata) communities.
Sagebrush cover types other than big sagebrush can fulfill sage-grouse habitat requirements; in fact, sage-grouse may prefer other sagebrush cover types to big sagebrush. Sage-grouse in Antelope Valley, California, for example, use black sagebrush (A. nova) cover types more often than the more common big sagebrush cover types . Drut and others  found hens with broods on the National Antelope Refuge in Oregon were most frequently found (54-67% of observations) in low sagebrush (A. arbuscular) cover. Desert shrub habitat may also be utilized by sage-grouse .
Sagebrush communities not included in SRM Cover Types but supporting sage-grouse include silver sagebrush and fringed sagebrush (A. frigida) , . Sage-grouse use of less common sagebrush communities (e.g. Bigelow sagebrush (A. bigelovii)) may occur but is not documented in the current literature.
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