Katherine E. Edwards

Habitat Characteristics Associated with Burrows of Gopher Tortoises and Non-burrow Locations on a Mississippi Military Installation

SEAFWA Journal Volume 3, March 2016

Since the 1987 federal listing as threatened of western populations of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus), tortoise population recovery and habitat restoration efforts have been implemented at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Mississippi. We studied plant community and edaphic features around tortoise burrows and at non-occupied locations in 2007. We investigated relationships between burrow presence and habitat characteristics through decision tree and logistic regression analyses. Burrow occurrence was positively related to stem counts of woody plants and species...

Year
2016

Mound Densities of Red Imported Fire Ants Associated with Gopher Tortoise Burrows on Private and Public Forest Lands in Mississippi

Many studies have reported that imported fire ants can have negative impacts to property, wildlife, and ecosystem integrity. Depredation by fire ants can reduce native insect diversity and survival of hatchling birds and reptiles, including gopher tortoises. Because of the potential impacts of fire ants on gopher tortoise recruitment, we assessed infestation levels of red imported fire ants on public and private forest lands in south Mississippi. Our study design focused on surveys for estimation of densities of fire ant mounds on suitable and priority soils for gopher tortoises. We...

Year
2011

Effective Strategies to Monitor, Manage, and Ensure Compliance on Wetlands Reserve Program Conservation Easements to Benefit Wildlife

Conservation easements provide an important tool for agencies and organizations to protect environmentally sensitive areas and improve environmental quality. The Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (i.e., Farm Bill) established the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) with goals to “protect, restore, and enhance the functions and values of wetland ecosystems.” Since 1990, WRP objectives have expanded to include 1) provision of habitat for migratory birds and other wetland-dependent wildlife, 2) protection and improvement of water quality, and 3) floodwater attenuation and...

Year
2011

Bird Communities of Beaver Wetlands and Forested Riparian Slopes along First- and Second-order Streams in Central Mississippi

Wetlands created by American beaver (Castor canandensis) provide habitat for a diversity of resident and migratory birds. To estimate bird community characteristics of beaver wetlands and adjacent riparian forests, we conducted point count surveys in five beaver wetlands and adjacent floodplain ridges of first- and second-order streams during winter 2001-2002 and spring 2002 in central Mississippi. Ninety bird species were recorded in beaver wetlands and 69 bird species were detected in adjacent upland forests. In beaver wetlands, we recorded 57 species during winter 2001-2002 and 69...

Year
2011

Hurricane Katrina Impacts to White-tailed Deer on John C. Stennis Space Center

Limited information is available regarding wildlife responses to hurricane-related disturbances. We monitored white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) by spotlight counts on NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC) during fall-winter periods from 2002-2004 before Hurricane Katrina's landfall and from 2006-2008 post-hurricane to index changes in relative population size. Comparisons of survey results during pre- and post-hurricane periods indicated that deer numbers were stable in years following hurricane landfall. Average number of deer recorded during spotlight counts was 26.7...

Year
2010

Mammalian Herbivory of Seedlings Planted for Hardwood Reforestation in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley

The Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) has undergone widespread loss of bottomland hardwood forests due to agricultural conversion. Hardwood establishment on marginal croplands has been proposed to mitigate effects of deforestation and related loss of carbon-capture potential. These reforestation areas can provide important wildlife habitat in agriculture-dominated landscapes; however, concern with reforestation is low seedling survival due to herbivory and vegetation competition. We surveyed reforested fields in the MAV of northwest Mississippi to assess survival of 10 species of hardwood...

Year
2007

Larval Amphibian Assemblages of Constructed Temporary Wetlands and Stream-connected Floodplain Pools on Public Forested Lands in North-central Mississippi

Several studies have proposed the creation of seasonal wetlands for ensuring habitat diversity and providing connectivity for herpetofaunal populations. However, few published studies have addressed differences in faunal communities between constructed and naturally occurring wetlands and the role they play in supporting pool-breeding amphibians. We measured larval amphibian diversity within temporary pools of public forested lands in north-central Mississippi. We quantified larval amphibian species richness, abundance, and community similarities between four isolated, upland ephemeral...

Year
2007