Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Demarais, Steve

Committee Member

Strickland, Bronson K.

Committee Member

Iglay, Raymond B.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Prescribed fire is a common land management tool in the southeastern United States. Historical fires occurred primarily in the growing season, but modern day prescribed fire is commonly restricted to the dormant season. Plant community responses to various fire regimes are relatively unknown, and managers require information on how fire regimes impact plant communities. To address these limitations, I studied the impacts of March and June fire on plant communities. Results indicated various woody midstory species respond differently to fire season and community response is driven by species composition. In another study, I examined impacts of February, May-June, and September-October backing and heading fires on midstory and understory vegetation. Results indicated May-June fires maximized midstory mortality and growing-season fires maximized herbaceous understory coverage while dormant-season fire promoted resprouting woody species. Managers can use this information to tailor fire prescriptions to specific properties to better meet management objectives.