Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Jones, Jeanne C.

Committee Member

Leopold, Bruce D.

Committee Member

Miller, Darren A.

Committee Member

Fogarty, Jarrod H.

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


I investigated plant and animal community characteristics on 14 forest stands in north central Mississippi. Study sites included 9 pine plantations, 3 streamside management zones, and 2 hardwood cove forests. I estimated relationships between faunal metrics and habitat characteristics. I measured vegetation characteristics within quadrant and nested plot designs to estimate understory, midstory, and overstory species composition and structure. I inventoried breeding birds using point count surveys and sampled herpetofauna diversity using area-constrained searches within belt transects during 2008 and 2009. I detected 39 species of birds in 2008, 43 species of birds in 2009, 11 species of amphibians, and 9 species of reptiles. Hardwood cove sites supported more deep forest-dwelling bird and salamander species; whereas, pine stands supported more grassland bird species. Species richness and abundance of birds was related to snag DBH. Species richness and abundance of herpetofauna was related to number of understory plant species.