Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Himes, Austin

Committee Member

Cannon, Jeffery B.

Committee Member

Polinko, Adam

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


Modern forestry research and management emphasize infusing management practices with an understanding of natural disturbance regimes -- often called ecological forestry. Forestry practices emulating aspects of natural disturbance regimes are considered an effective tool to balance silvicultural and ecological objectives. Size, shape, and spatial distribution of canopy gaps formed by Hurricane Michael were studied across multiple site factors in a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) woodland in southwest Georgia. No significant differences were observed in gap size or shape among landscape factors, but spatial distribution of gaps differed among landscape factors. The results observed highlight the ecological importance of the event and provide some insight into interactions at the landscape level. The implementation of a large, rapid, single disturbance event as a model for ecological silviculture may be more practically applied than disturbances such as lightning or insects which occur over longer timeframes.