Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Biological Science



First Advisor

Stephen Threlkeld

Second Advisor

Gregg R. Davidson

Third Advisor

Marjorie M. Holland

Relational Format



The growth of bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) boles and knees in response to inundation and precipitation over small (< 4 m) elevation gradients was examined by measuring interannual growth increments of boles and knees at five sites at Sardis Lake, Mississippi. There was a significant (p=0.019) growth response to precipitation during November to April (the wet season), but there was not a significant growth response to inundation during the growing season (May to October). Because lake level at Sardis is controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, the Sardis Lake shoreline area may be a habitat where growth response to precipitation and inundation differs from systems where precipitation and inundation are linked. The growth of knees from bald cypress roots was compared to growth of the boles in order to determine if knees and boles respond to the same environmental factors. It was found that the knees have high positive correlation coefficients when compared to the tree's bole if we assume that knee growth is initiated in response to a major flood event. If we assume knees grow in response to stress that limits bole growth, we would expect but do not find any discernable relationship between the initiation of knee growth and the timing of flood events.



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