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Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Robert W. Peplies

Committee Members

Charles Gunter Jr., Kent Burdick


The Southern Pine Beetle, or SPB, (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmerman) is a bark beetle that is endemic to the Southern forest ecosystem. Beetle populations remain stable for years at a time; however, for reasons not fully understood the beetle undergoes accelerated population growth on approximate ten-year cycles, culminating in increased beetle activity. Although most trees can withstand a beetle assault when populations are reduced, healthy trees, and even pine species that are not generally attacked can become a host tree for millions of beetles during infestations.

Much of Appalachia was paralyzed by an unusually heavy snowstorm on January 27, 1998, resulting in major power failures and tremendous tree damage. Environmental hazards such as this storm have historically been a factor with southern pine beetle populations. This study hypothesizes that the blizzard of January 27, 1998, significantly increased the southern pine beetle population. The evidence, however, did not support this hypothesis.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.