The Influence of Urban Green Spaces on Declining Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

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Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are adept pollinators of countless cultivated and wild flowering plants, but many species have experienced declines in recent decades. Though urban sprawl has been implicated as a driving force of such losses, urban green spaces hold the potential to serve as habitat islands for bumble bees. As human populations continue to grow and metropolitan areas become larger, the survival of many bumble bee species will hinge on the identification and implementation of appropriate conservation measures at regional and finer scales. North Texas is home to some the fastest-growing urban areas in the country, including Denton County, ... continued below

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Beckham, Jessica Lorene May 2016.

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This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 109 times , with 7 in the last month . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

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  • Beckham, Jessica Lorene

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Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are adept pollinators of countless cultivated and wild flowering plants, but many species have experienced declines in recent decades. Though urban sprawl has been implicated as a driving force of such losses, urban green spaces hold the potential to serve as habitat islands for bumble bees. As human populations continue to grow and metropolitan areas become larger, the survival of many bumble bee species will hinge on the identification and implementation of appropriate conservation measures at regional and finer scales. North Texas is home to some the fastest-growing urban areas in the country, including Denton County, as well as at least two declining bumble bee species (B. pensylvanicus and B. fraternus). Using a combination of field , molevular DNA and GIS methods I evaluated the persistence of historic bumble bee species in Denton County, and investigated the genetic structure and connectivity of the populations in these spaces. Field sampling resulted in the discovery of both B. pensylvanicus and B. fraternus in Denton County's urban green spaces. While the relative abundance of B. fraternus in these spaces was significantly lower than historic levels gleaned from museum recors, that of B. pensylvanicus was significantly higher. Statistical analyses found that both bare ground and tree cover surrounding sample sites were negatively associated with numbers of bumble bee individuals and hives detected in these green spaces. Additionally, limited genetic structuring of bumble bee populations was detected, leading to the conclusion that extensive gene flow is occurring across populations in Denton County.

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  • May 2016

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  • June 28, 2016, 4:28 p.m.

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  • July 25, 2016, 1:09 p.m.

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Beckham, Jessica Lorene. The Influence of Urban Green Spaces on Declining Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae), dissertation, May 2016; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc849737/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .