Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rush, Scott A.

Committee Member

Miller, Darren A.

Committee Member

Hill, JoVonn G.

Committee Member

Evans, Kristine O.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations are a common land use of the southeastern United States that have the potential to function as a source of cellulosic biomass for biofuel production. A novel land use practice of intercropping switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) between planted loblolly pines has been developed as a potential method of cellulosic biomass production. I evaluated response of arthropods and breeding birds to intercropping switchgrass within loblolly pine plantations compared to typically managed pine plantations. I detected 13 arthropod orders and 44 breeding bird species during 2014 – 2015. Intercropping switchgrass reduced arthropod diversity and evenness, with richness not affected. Arthropod abundance response to intercropping switchgrass varied among orders. Breeding bird species did not respond differently to intercropping switchgrass compared to typically managed pine. Continued assessment is needed to provide greater insight regarding potential effects of this land use practice throughout a rotational period.