Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Jones, Jeanne C.

Committee Member

Leopold, Bruce D.

Committee Member

Godwin, Kris C.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife and Fisheries


This project evaluated the influence of habitat parameters and distance from low-order streams on herpetofauna communities, in addition to evaluating the efficacy of 2 sampling methods. Amphibians were associated with mature hardwood forests with high density of large, highly decayed woody debris. Reptiles were associated with mixed pine-hardwood forests, woody debris, and vertical canopy structure. Overall, woody debris was an important habitat feature for amphibians and reptiles. Amphibians were detected in greater abundance and species richness near the stream. Reptiles were similar in abundance and species richness as distance increased from low-order streams. I recommend a SMZ width ¡Ý50 m on each side of the low-order streams in east-central Mississippi. Area-constrained and funnel-pitfall traps each detected species that the other method was unable to sample due to inherent biases. I recommend the use of both survey methods when investigating the entire terrestrial herpetofauna community in mature, riparian and upland forests.



Amphibian Communities||Reptile Communities||Low-order Streams||Mixed Upland Forests||Public Forest Lands||East-central Mississippi