Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biological Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Micheal A. Davis

Committee Chair Department

Biological Sciences

Committee Member 2

Dr. Kevin A. Kuehn

Committee Member 2 Department

Biological Sciences

Committee Member 3

Dr. Carl P. Qualls

Committee Member 3 Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

This study was conducted from 2012-2013 in a 96 year old longleaf pine at the Lake Thoreau Environmental Center located Lamar County, MS. Measurements of soil CO₂ efflux (i.e., soil respiration or SR) rates (µmol m-2 sec-1) were taken across 8 field plots (4 burned, 4 unburned) before and after a prescribed fire on that occurred in May, 2012. These measurements were taken over diurnal cycles using a LICOR LI-8100A automated soil gas flux system with long term chambers. SR rates and soil temperature measurements were collected during 3 sampling periods in 2012 and 1 sampling period in 2013, which were split into seasonal sampling periods: a pre-burn, spring 2012 period (April & May), a post-burn, summer 2012 period (June, July, & August), a post-burn fall 2012 period (November), and a post-burn spring 2013 period (April & May). Overall, the unburned plots had significantly greater mean SR than the burned plots (2.57 vs. 3.57 µmol m-2 sec-1, p=0.04). After combining SR and soil temperature across seasons, soil temperature explained 59% of the variability in SR on the burned treatment (p <0.0001).

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