Utilization of Urban Green Spaces by Bumble Bees in Denton County, Jessica Beckam, UNT

Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are adept pollinators of many 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 may serve as habitat islands for bumble bee populations if managed properly.  This research is an interdisciplinary study to investigate how both local and landscape-scale factors influence the utilization of urban green spaces by Bombus populations in Denton County.  Historic museum records will supply baseline species presence data, while field sampling and molecular analyses of local bumble bee populations will be used to infer the current status of populations.  Local and landscape factors affecting populations will be identified using GIS and remote sensing techniques.  Finally, a computational model will be produced to predict the long-term viability of bumble bee populations and to help interpret the collected data.  These results will supply baseline data about bumble bees in urban and minimally disturbed habitats of Denton County, as well as evaluate the viability of bumble bee populations in an urban landscape.