Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences

Committee Chair

Micheal Davis

Committee Chair Department

Biological Sciences

Committee Member 2

Kevin Kuehn

Committee Member 2 Department

Biological Sciences

Committee Member 3

Frank Heitmuller

Committee Member 3 Department

Geography and Geology


This study examines the effects of historical management by use of prescribed fire on Ilex glabra stems/m2 and factors affecting the regrowth of I. glabra after a prescribed burn to gain beneficial knowledge for management purposes. Environmental factors and morphological parameters of I. glabra were sampled before and after a prescribed burn of the Longleaf Trace Nature Preserve in September 2016. The study site is located in Lamar County, Mississippi, just west of Hattiesburg, MS. Stem densities of I. glabra were collected once before the prescribed burn and twice after the prescribed burn at 2 month and 9 month intervals. Soil moisture, soil texture, maximum soil surface temperature during the fire, leaf area index at 0m and 1.5m before and after the burn, common woody species presence, and I. glabra stem diameter and height were tested for effects on post burn regeneration of I. glabra. Frequently burned areas had a significantly higher (F1,67= 22.95, p< 9.6e-06, R2= 0.255) I. glabra stem density. Maximum soil surface temperature during the fire had a negative correlation (F1,34= 10.76, p= 0.002, R2= 0.24) with I. glabra stem/m2 at 2 months post burn. Average I. glabra stem diameter had a positive correlation (F1,37= 4.58, p= 0.039, R2= 0.11) with the average number of sprouts produced per I. glabra stem at 2 months post burn. Pre-fire I. glabra densities had a positive correlation (F1,37= 17.62, p< 0.0002, R2= 0.322) with stem densitites at 9 months post fire. Early management of I. glabra populations is important to keep the plant numbers manageable. Prescribed burning should aim to increase the intensity/residency time of the fire to increase effective damage/shock to I. glabra rootstocks.