Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Valerie E. Peters

Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Second Advisor

David R. Brown

Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Third Advisor

Stephen C. Richter

Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences


Anthropogenic disturbance has led to widespread losses in biodiversity. Native bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) provide essential pollination services and have been declining in abundance dramatically in recent years. One potential cause of these declines is anthropogenic disturbance. Eleven sites were established in Southeastern Kentucky, U.S.A. where surface mining for coal is common. Data was analyzed using generalized linear mixed-effect models to detect the most important landscape scale variables, including mining, in shaping bee communities. Bee species richness was significantly lower on sites that contained surface mines, but abundance was similar between mined and unmined sites. The proportion of each nesting group from each site was not significantly influenced by landscape variables in most cases. Cavity nesting bees, however, were most strongly influenced by the presence of a mine as well as the percent herbaceous cover and percent forest cover.