This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Forest Inventory and Grassland Restoration Planning of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama




Perkins, John

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Forestry and Wildlife Science

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Redstone Arsenal (RSA) is the largest landholding in the Tennessee River Valley of Alabama, encompassing 36,000 acres. This region was once dominated by expansive savannas, largely dominated by oak (Quercus spp.) and pines (Pinus spp,) with a highly diverse understory of herbaceous species. Following European colonization, much of these savanna ecosystems were lost to land use change and fire suppression. RSA, as a United States Department of Defense (DoD) installation, is responsible for protection of ecosystems found within its borders. Our goal was to determine the current composition of the installation’s forests, create an Arc GIS database for its management, and develop a mapped product that may be used to aid in oak savanna restoration. The resulting map was developed using decision tree analysis and had an overall accuracy of 39.99% (kappa=0.22), outperforming support vector machine (25.41%, kappa=0.02) and maximum likelihood (14.40%, kappa=0.07).