Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rush, Scott A.

Committee Member

Miller, Darren A.

Committee Member

Evans, Kristine O.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stands are common in the southeastern United States and provide young forest conditions for early successional breeding birds. Common pine management practices (e.g. hardwood control) and novel practices (e.g. switchgrass [Panicum virgatum] intercropping), may influence breeding bird use. I evaluated breeding bird abundance, diversity, and resource use within loblolly stands treated to control hardwood species, intercropped with switchgrass, and with no additional management. Hardwood control and switchgrass intercropping both decreased hardwoods and shrubs, and increased forbs. Switchgrass intercropping increased some early successional bird abundances. However, diversity was not different among treatments. Switchgrass intercropping increased 13C:12C in birds and vegetation; both hardwood control and switchgrass intercropping increased 15N:14N in birds and vegetation. Birds moved freely among stands of different ages and management practices. My results suggest these practices improve conditions for some early successional birds and may help maintain ecological value of loblolly stands for birds.