Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Evans, David

Committee Member

Londo, Alexis

Committee Member

Fan, Joseph (Zhaofei)

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


Limited knowledge exists of the terrain variables that have an influence on gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrow locations. Previous studies suggest that terrain features may play a role in preference of burrow location. LiDAR- (Light Detection and Ranging) derived terrain features can be evaluated through GIS (Geographic Information System) analysis at a fine spatial scale. LiDAR data acquired at 0.5 meter post spacing over three locations on Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, MS were used to develop DTMs (Digital Terrain Models) for use in burrow site characterization. Terrain variables (e.g. elevation, slope, aspect) were developed from the LiDAR DTM in ArcGIS. Burrows and randomly allocated non-burrow points were used in logistic regression analysis to model the relationship between burrow occurrence and terrain features. Four models correctly classified more than 83% of the burrow locations. The R2 were 34.83%, 49.31%, 28.09%, and 31.51%.