Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Polinko, Adam

Committee Member

Himes, Austin

Committee Member

Renninger, Heidi

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


Maximum size-density relationships (MSDR) are used to quantify differences across sites in the number of trees of a given size and species that can be supported per hectare. These relationships are important to managers who are trying to maximize basal area and wood volume. In my study, I examined MSDR across Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi using US Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data. I determined the impact of species-specific, specific gravity, functional traits, and environmental factors on MSDR using a quantile regression approach. Overall, I found that climatic factors had the greatest influence on MSDR, and that species shade and drought tolerance were more influential than specific gravity across the southeastern US.