Mississippi State University
Morin, Dana J.
King, Richard B.
Date of Degree
Original embargo terms
Campus Access Only 1 Year
Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only
Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Forest Resources
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Over the 21st century, climate change and wetland habitat loss will pose major threats to the Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus), a federally threatened and Great Lakes region endemic rattlesnake. I collected capture-recapture data from sites across the range and modeled the effect of climatic variables on growth rate and asymptotic size. I found that high snow residence time was associated with larger asymptotic sizes but slower growth, while high spring precipitation increased growth rate. I then projected future growth and size under different carbon emission scenarios. Given the threat posed by successional encroachment of woody vegetation, I used spatially explicit capture-recapture models to examine the effects of landscape characteristics and phenology on the spatial distribution of density for a population in Michigan. I found highest density in areas close to a stream and with low vegetation intensity, which can inform prescribed burn programs and give additional insights into life history.
Helferich, James, "Of changing climate and habitat: range-wide individual growth and local patterns of phenology and landscape use in a threatened pit-viper" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 6047.