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Variance in bee species richness: seasonal, spatial, and temporal differences

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Bee communities form the keystone of many ecosystems through their pollination services. They are dynamic and often subject to significant changes due to several different factors such as climate, urban development, and other anthropogenic disturbances. As a result, the world

Bee communities form the keystone of many ecosystems through their pollination services. They are dynamic and often subject to significant changes due to several different factors such as climate, urban development, and other anthropogenic disturbances. As a result, the world has been experiencing a decline in bee diversity and abundance, which can have detrimental effects in the ecosystems they inhabit. One of the largest factors that impacts bees in today's world is the rapid urbanization of our planet, and it impacts the bee community in mixed ways. Not very much is understood about the bee communities that exist in urban habitats, but as urbanization is inevitably going to continue, knowledge on bee communities will need to strengthen. This study aims to determine the levels of variance in bee communities, considering multiple variables that bee communities can differ in. The following three questions are posed: do bee communities that are spatially separated differ significantly? Do bee communities that are separated by seasons differ significantly? Do bee communities that are separated temporally (by year, interannually) differ significantly? The procedure to conduct this experiment consists of netting and trapping bees at two sites at various times using the same methods. The data is then statistically analyzed for differences in abundance, richness, diversity, and species composition. After performing the various statistical analyses, it has been discovered that bee communities that are spatially separated, seasonally separated, or interannually separated do not differ significantly when it comes to abundance and richness. Spatially separated bee communities and interannually separated bee communities show a moderate level of dissimilarity in their species composition, while seasonally separated bee communities show a greater level of dissimilarity in species composition. Finally, seasonally separated bee communities demonstrate the greatest disparity of bee diversity, while interannually separated bee communities show the least disparity of bee diversity. This study was conducted over the time span of two years, and while the levels of variance of an urban area between these variables were determined, further variance studies of greater length or larger areas should be conducted to increase the currently limited knowledge of bee communities in urban areas. Additional studies on precipitation amounts and their effects on bee communities should be conducted, and studies from other regions should be taken into consideration while attempting to understand what is likely the most environmentally significant group of insects.

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2017-05

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Associative Recognition of Odor Stimuli Variance and a Proposal to Test This in Odor Experience Restricted Honey Bees

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Recent data suggests that olfactory input is important for antennal lobe development in honey bees. Chronic association of a single odor to food resources during crucial stages of development results in delayed antennal lobe development for mature foraging bees. The

Recent data suggests that olfactory input is important for antennal lobe development in honey bees. Chronic association of a single odor to food resources during crucial stages of development results in delayed antennal lobe development for mature foraging bees. The antennal lobes of these bees instead closely resemble an immature network observed in young, newly emerged bees. Using an odor stimuli variance assay, learning and memory tests can be used to explore how well honey bees discriminate single odors within complex odor mixtures. Here we are validating two different odor mixtures, a Brassica rapa floral blend and a second replicate mixture composed of common molecularly dissimilar odors. Odors in each mixture are either held constant or varied in concentration over 16 conditioning trials. Subsequent memory tests are performed two hours later to observe the ability of bees to distinguish and recognize specific odor components in each mixture. So far in our assay we find high rates of generalization for both odor mixtures. In general, more bees responded to all odors in the replicate treatment group over the Brassica treatment group. Additionally, bees in the Brassica treatment group did not respond to the target odor. More data is being collected to validate this assay. In future studies, I propose to apply this behavioral assay to bees with an altered olfactory developmental in order to see the functional impacts of this chronic odor association treatment.

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2017-05