Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Demarais, Stephen

Committee Member

Ezell, Andrew

Committee Member

Jones, Jeanna

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, Fisheries and Aquaculture


I evaluated effects of 5 pine plantation establishment regimes 6 – 8 years postestablishment on loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) growth, vegetation characteristics, nutritional carrying capacity for white-tailed deer, and breeding birds in the Lower Coastal Plain of Mississippi. Treatments combined mechanical site preparation (MSP), chemical site preparation (CSP), and herbaceous weed control (HWC) designed to represent a range of operational intensities. Chemical SP provided greater long-term control of woody competition than MSP, but did not provide significant pine growth advantage. Vegetation richness, diversity, and structure were best maintained with MSP and year 1 banded HWC. Canopy cover appears to be shading out herbaceous understory and altering composition of woody understory toward more shade-tolerant species. Total forage biomass and 3 levels of carrying capacity declined on average 54% each year. Avian metrics decreased as treatment intensity increased. Regionally important species were influenced positively by greater vegetation coverage attained by banded HWC.