Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Baker, Beth

Committee Member

Davis, J. Brian

Committee Member

Taylor, Jason

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Agriculture has diminished shorebirds’ natural habitat in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Remaining natural stopover sites are supplemented with agricultural fields during the fall and winter. This study evaluates the impact of 4 different post-harvest water management strategies on shorebird food abundance and potential agrochemical biomagnification. Chironomid samples estimated abundance, biomass, and chironomid agrochemical concentration in each field. A risk assessment of agrochemical biomagnification to shorebirds was made across all treatments. Of treatments represented on all study sites, winter treatment had greatest chironomid abundance and biomass. Models indicated that days since flood initiation, start date, and temperature are significant predictors of chironomid abundance and biomass. Risk assessment results indicate low risk to shorebirds across all treatments for agrochemicals measured in this study. This study shows that flood timing is more important to providing shorebird resources than trends in abundance and biomass of chironomids, and shorebird risk from agrochemicals measured was minimal.