Author

Jordan Gesell

Advisor

Hill, JoVonn G.

Committee Member

Barton, Brandon

Committee Member

Harris, Jeffrey W.

Date of Degree

12-1-2020

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Agricultural Life Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department

Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology

Abstract

In collaboration with the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, I collected detailed information on the butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea Latreille, 1802) of the refuge. I produced a comprehensive checklist of butterflies and skippers numbering 60 species. In addition, I collected data on flight periods as well as local plant community associations. Butterfly abundance surveys were conducted to assess seasonal habitat use across six site classes. Special emphasis was placed on pine forest at various stages of management for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis). An exploratory analysis of butterfly diversity and abundance was conducted using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS). Using a Pearson correlation, I determined that butterfly species richness correlated positively with understory plant morphospecies richness across site classes. A correlation was not found for data solely collected from the pine sites, suggesting factors other than understory morphospecies richness govern butterfly richness within a site class.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/20875

Sponsorship

Sam D. Hamilton National Wildlife Refuge

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