Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Riggins, John J.

Committee Member

Gandhi, Kamal J. K.

Committee Member

Brown, Richard L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Entomology and Plant Pathology

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


The Eurasian wood wasp, Sirex noctilio, is considered a secondary pest in its native range; however, it has caused significant economic damage when introduced to pine plantations in the Southern Hemisphere. Sirex noctilio was recently introduced to the northeastern U.S., which has raised concerns about its potential impact on Southeastern pine plantations. This research was conducted to understand how silvicultural management affects populations of a native wood wasp, Sirex nigricornis, a wood wasp with similar ecosystem functions as S. noctilio. Sirex nigricornis abundance was higher in un-managed pine plantations than in managed plantations, mixed, and old growth forests. Additionally, geospatial models were built displaying S. noctilio hazard for the Southeastern U.S. based on oviposition host preference assays and historical outbreak information. Sirex noctilio hazard models will inform land managers about areas of greatest concern under various scenarios and should be used to decrease susceptibility of pine forests to this pest.