Effects of Landscape Structure, Habitat Type and Flower Density on Bee Abundance within the Chicago Wilderness Region
Ellis, Katherine E
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Urbanization and habitat fragmentation are major threats to the conservation of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Prairies were once widespread across the American Midwest, including the region now known as the Chicago Wilderness Region. Landscape studies are very important for the continued conservation of damaged ecosystems because they give vital information to conservation scientists about how different organisms respond to variation in surrounding habitat. Bees, because of their important role as plant pollinators, are often used in these types of studies, especially in light of the current unexplained disappearance of many agricultural honey bee populations. Some urban areas, such as the city of Chicago, are working to counteract some of this overarching loss of habitat by installing an increasing number of city parks and green rooftops. These isolated green spaces serve the dual purpose of use for human recreation as well as to substitute natural habitats for many species, including bees.