Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hill, JoVonn G.

Committee Member

Ward, Samuel

Committee Member

Booher, Douglas

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Life Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


Grassland communities represent major biodiversity hotspots across the United States. Among these grassland types is the short-leaf pine savanna, a major historical habitat along the Cumberland Plateau. The Cumberland Plateau’s grasslands are under threat due to land use changes such as urbanization and land conversion to pasture and hardwood forests. This study seeks to better understand the community ecology of ants on the Cumberland Plateau using powerlines as a comparison to degraded and historic habitats. Ants have a preference between open sites and forested sites, a separation of 44.5% on a DCA. The Simpson diversity places the short-leaf pine savanna significantly lower than adjacent forest, (df-3, F=3.56, p-value=0.029; Figure 1.5). Stenamma Westwood, 1839 is a cryptic genus with a Holarctic clade of 44 species, six of which occur in the southeastern United States. This work is a redescription providing an updated key, with images to those species in the southeast.