Committee Chair

Aborn, David A.

Committee Member

Beasley, DeAnna; McCarragher, Shannon


Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


In eastern deciduous forests, fire-disturbance and its ecological implications have not been heavily studied. In Tennessee, a recently burned site (2016) presented a unique opportunity to analyze habitat regrowth two-three years after a major wildfire thought to have been worsened by invasive plants. In order to examine post-fire recovery and invasive plant recolonization, researchers observed the diversity of avian species in a burned and unburned site. Using mist-nets, line-transects, and vegetation analysis, this study found that though the unburned site was higher in avian diversity, the burned site appeared to be suitable habitat for multiple disturbance-dependent avian species. There was no evidence found that birds were contributing to invasive plant colonization of the burned site. This study supports the need for greater fire research in eastern deciduous forests and the results suggest that regular fires could benefit struggling species of disturbance-dependent birds in this region.


I would like to thank my advisor Dr. David Aborn and committee members Dr. Deanna Beasley and Dr. Shannon McCarragher for their support and guidance. I would also like to thank my family and friends and all the contributors that assisted me during this project. I would also like to thank James Dale, the Assistant District Forester (TN), and Phil Morrissey, State Forest Unit Leader Division of Forestry (TN), for providing information on the fire and maps of the area. Lastly, I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Jordan Sikkema and all of the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy for all of their help and the gracious access to their land. Without everyone’s support, this project would have been impossible.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Birds -- Effect of habitat modification on -- Tennessee; Birds -- Habitat -- Missouri


Avian; Fire; Disturbance; Warblers; Ornithology; Invasive

Document Type

Masters theses


ix, 60 leaves




Under copyright.