Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Himes, Austin J.

Committee Member

Alexander, Heather D.

Committee Member

Granger, Joshua J.

Committee Member

Polinko, Adam D.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


Invasions by alien understory plant species have gradually become a worldwide challenge in maintaining forest biodiversity and ecosystem productivity. Notably, Microstegium vimineum, a C4 grass native to Japan, has increased dominance in mixed deciduous hardwood forests of the southeastern United States, largely due to its shade tolerance and ability to spread through rhizomes. Microstegium vimineum also proliferates after prescribed fire, a common management tool used in the region to restore forests to desired conditions, and may compete with hardwood seedlings, hindering restoration efforts. Using two upland deciduous hardwood forest research sites in Marshall and Tate Counties, Mississippi, this study measured competitive effects of Microstegium vimineum on native hardwood seedling growth and survival with and without prescribed fire treatments. A single burning had no significant effect on Microstegium vimineum abundance, while the effect of Microstegium vimineum on seedling growth and survival varied by species.