Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Edward R. Buckner

Committee Members

Boyd L. Dearden, G.R. Wells


The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-205) requires that where endangered species are found on public lands a management program must be implemented to maintain the species. A relict population of red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) (classified as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) currently exists on the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area. A possible reason for their decline in this region is the loss of suitable habitat, that is mature to decadent yellow pine (Pinus spp.) stands. Succession in this region is to hardwoods and many cultural activities speed this trend.

Developing silvicultural systems for increasing the pine component of forests on the Cumberland Plateau is essential for maintaining a population of red-cockaded woodpeckers in that area. The site preparation techniques tested for regenerating pine and controlling hardwoods were considered feasible by the Tennessee Wild life Resources Agency personnel for use on the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area. These techniques included: (1) prescribed burning, (2) fireplowing, (3) drum chopping, and (4) a velpar treatment. Both direct seeding and planting shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.) seedlings were tested. Deer exclosures were constructed to determine the influence of deer browsing on stand composition.

First year survival was best in the fireplowed rows for both direct seeding and planted seedlings. However, first year height growth for planted seedlings was greatest in the drum chopped area. Burning had no significant effect.

The effectiveness of the hardwood control treatments was evaluated for each planting "spot" by determining the likelihood that an established pine seedling (whether present or not) would outgrow hardwood competition. Fire plowing, drum chopping, and velpar significantly reduced hardwood competition. Deer exclosures were not completed in time for this initial evaluation.

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