Class Year

2015

Date

4-13-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Distinguished Thesis

Yes

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Biology

First Advisor

Sean B. Menke

Second Advisor

Elizabeth W. Fischer

Third Advisor

Karen E. Kirk

Abstract

Cities are the fastest growing environment in the world today. As cities increase in size, they disturb and destroy the surrounding natural environment. Traditionally, urban centers have been thought of as a homogenized environment supporting a few widespread species. However, I hypothesize that variation in city environments plays a major role in biodiversity and species assemblages. I use ants as a representative species to address microenvironments in the city. I discovered that microenvironments in the urban mosaic have unique communities and that both microenvironment area and isolation play a role in determining species assemblages. This study exhibits the importance in understanding complexity in urban environments and may help us limit negative effects of human expansion on other organisms.


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