Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science - Forestry

Department

Forestry

First Advisor

Christopher M. Schalk

Second Advisor

Daniel Saenz

Third Advisor

Kathryn R. Kidd

Fourth Advisor

Stephen J. Mullin

Abstract

Anthropogenic activities can alter natural disturbance regimes in ecosystems, and thereby affect the structure and function of biological diversity. As many of the world’s ecosystems are degraded beyond natural recovery, well-defined restoration goals are necessary to maintain the ecological processes that provide valuable ecosystem services. Utilizing taxonomic, functional, and food-web approaches, I investigated the impacts of forest management practices in structuring predator communities in two pine forest systems of eastern Texas. The results of this study indicate that the increased frequency of forest management practices such as prescribed fires and thinning operations encourages predator diversity while increasing functional and trophic redundancy within predator assemblages. Consequently, increased frequency of such activities may lead to greater stability and resilience in pine-forest ecosystems. My research enhances the understanding of the influence of anthropogenic disturbances in terrestrial ecosystems, and highlights the importance of ecological restoration that incorporates a multi-dimensional approach to meet desired restoration goals and ensure the health of pine ecosystems.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Thursday, May 04, 2023

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