Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

First Advisor

M. Deane Bowers

Second Advisor

Kendi F. Davies

Third Advisor

Michael D. Breed

Abstract

I investigated how landscape modification impacts bee communities and how two common insects influence bee foraging behavior in human modified habitat. I surveyed bee communities in 32 remnant grasslands and used multivariate generalized mixed models to evaluate community and genus level responses to landscape elements at scales from 200m to 3200m. Bee communities responded to topography at the 3200m scale, the area of intensive agriculture at the 1600m scale, and the area of roadside edge at the 400m scale. I then conducted two behavioral experiments in a garden that simulated roadside edge. I manipulated the presence of a common predator (Phymata americana) and competitor (Chauliognathus basilis) on sunflower blooms (Helianthus petiolaris) to assess bees’ responses to these insects. Randomized paired observations of occupied and unoccupied flowers were analyzed using Χ2 contingency tests and generalized linear mixed models. On average, competitor presence on a bloom reduced visit duration by 1.68 seconds.

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