Mapping current range with respect to abiotic site factors of selected southern oaks (Quercus spp) in Mississippi
Hobbs, Laura Kim
CommitteeGary Ervin, Gary
Randy Rousseau, Randy
Physical characteristics of a site that plant species inhabit may be useful in deriving the range of the species. Current range maps for tree species of the United States were originally developed by Elbert Little. These range maps were based primarily on observations. The purpose of this study was to update Little’s (Little, 1971) range maps of select southern oak species in Mississippi by calculating the topological, soil, and climatic features of sites using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to analyze environmental variables associated with species distributions. Data collected from databases were input into ArcMap and site data extracted using Hawth’s Analyst Tools. Stepwise logistic regression performed with site variables yielded the parameters used in predictive models to generate probability maps for each species across Mississippi. These probability maps demonstrate the potential to efficiently manage forests by giving a more encompassing view of species occurrence.