Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rush, Scott A.

Committee Member

Wang, Guiming

Committee Member

Martin, James A.

Committee Member

Wigley, Thomas Bently, Jr.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Managed forest ecosystems contribute to conservation of wildlife, and generally yield heterogeneous landscapes with patches that support different sessile organisms. Edges or boundaries between adjacent forest patches are often ecologically distinct from patch interiors and can have direct influences on community dynamics and ecosystem functioning near them. To quantify effects of edge and adjacent habitat conditions on avian metrics, I used a hierarchical multi-species occupancy model that considered individual species resource requirements to estimate community occupancy patterns, and used artificial nest surveys to model daily nest survival (DNS) using a Bayesian framework. Results indicated that adjacent forest conditions influenced bird population dynamics in focal forest stands, provided little evidence of an edge effect on avian community response patterns, and showed highest DNS in newly established forest stands. My results highlight the importance of considering type and spatial arrangement of different habitat patches for habitat planning operations on managed forest landscapes.