Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Schulz, Ashley N.

Committee Member

Polinko, Adam. D.

Committee Member

Riggins, John. J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


This thesis has two data chapters that consider factors affecting loblolly pine health in localized regions of Mississippi. The first data chapter investigated the abiotic and biotic factors contributing to loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) mortality on private timberland in Mississippi. This assessment considered temperature and precipitation variations, bark beetle populations, foliar and root pathogen tests, and drone survey. The results revealed that the loblolly pine mortality resulted from combination of factors. The second data chapter examined the impact of habitat fragmentation on southern pine beetle (SPB; Dendroctonus frontalis) infestation in Homochitto National Forest (HNF). This was assessed through remote sensing and categorization of SPB spots in HNF over nine years. Results indicated that increased total pine patch area, decreased distance between pine patches, and low patch diversity are important drivers of SPB outbreak in HNF. These results can help improve loblolly pine health and management in the southeastern United States.