Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Lashley, Marcus.

Committee Member

Street, M. Garrett.

Committee Member

Strickland, Bronson K.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Planted pine (Pinus spp.) comprises nearly 10% of the total land cover in the state of Mississippi. Often, understory structure is limited in this system. Thus, managers use a variety of management practices to improve understory biomass and structure. I assessed the impacts of common forest management practices (canopy reduction, prescribed fire, and selective herbicide application) and their combined effects on aspects of community structure. More specifically, I assessed impacts of disturbance intensity on non-native plant invasions, and evaluated how microscale vegetation characteristics influenced use by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and wild turkey (Mealagris gallopavo). Combining canopy reductions with prescribed fire, which closely mimicked historical intermediate disturbance intensities in this vegetation type, led to the greatest invasion resistance due to high abundances of native plants. Both deer and turkey increased use in areas with high levels of understory cover. Coupling canopy reductions with prescribed fire created the most favorable conditions for both species.



wild turkey||white-tailed deer||southern pine||invasion||habitat use||forest management