Assessment and Synthetization of Extension Needs Encompassing the Economic and Ecological Impacts of Wild Pigs Among Young Pine Plantations
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Forestry and Wildlife Science
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The southeastern United States has recently seen its first increases in Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) acreage after more than four centuries of decline thanks to ongoing restoration efforts. Connecting existing longleaf landscapes across this species’ native range depends largely on the successful establishment of plantations on non-industrial private lands. As in Alabama, the majority of forest lands in southeastern states are owned by non-industrial private landowners. Seedling depredation by wild hogs (Sus scrofa) poses a threat to longleaf restoration efforts especially in young forest plantations. Improving the knowledge base about wild hogs among young forest plantations will help guide better management decisions for non-industrial private landowners and resource professionals. This dissertation addresses extensions needs for information regarding wild hogs and explores the relationship between wild hogs and young forest plantations from two perspectives. First, an extension publication was created to synthesize and organize resource material pertaining to wild hogs in order to supplement the nine year gap since the last published bibliography. Second, a mail survey was conducted among non-industrial private landowners in Alabama to gain an understanding about wild hog damage and control in forest plantations. Findings were used to further explore the economics of wild hog damage and control for a stand level model utilizing longleaf. Third, a field study was performed to determine wild hog’s preference among seedling species and to observe ecological factors influencing seedling depredation.