Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Heather D. Alexander

Committee Member

Courtney M. Siegert

Committee Member

Donald L. Grebner

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


In north Mississippi, I evaluated fuel loads in the late dormant season and after leaf fall in unburned areas and after a dormant season burn. Fuel loads beneath winged elm (Ulmus alata) were assessed to determine if this shade-tolerant species impacts fine fuel loads in the area immediately near its bole. I found leaf litter fuel loads are higher after leaf fall suggesting that burns conducted closer to leaf fall may have increased burn intensity. Burning reduced leaf litter fuels and exposed mineral soil which returned to pre-burn levels following leaf fall. Declines in duff layer fuels were not evident until after leaf fall. Leaf litter fuels underneath winged elms had higher mass and percentage of winged elm litter beneath them compared to areas away from them. These results will help determine appropriate time for restoring prescribed fire and the implications of encroachment by non-oak species into upland oak forests.