Date of Award

Spring 2009

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources: Forestry

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Mark J Ducey


Tree holes are water filled depressions on trees and harbor macroinvertebrate communities; they often serve as microcosms in studies of population dynamics, competition, and fungal decay of leaf litter. Quantification of tree hole prevalence and incidence in forest stands is lacking in the current literature. This study examined factors influencing tree hole occurrence and the types and formations of tree holes in northeastern forest stands. Modeling was used to correct for non-detection and estimate the abundance of tree holes on a per-hectare basis. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to predict tree hole occurrence. Tree species, stand basal area, and diameter at breast height were the most influential model predictors. Rot holes were the most common types of holes and both pans and rot-formed holes developed a rot lining. Tree holes occurred almost exclusively on hardwoods, specifically maple species, and results are associated with northeastern forest composition.