Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Gerardo Arceo-Gomez

Committee Members

Fred J. Alsop III, Rebecca Pyles, Istvan Karsai


Urbanization is increasing at a dramatic rate as the human population increases. While it is well-known that urbanization tends to decrease species diversity (i.e., biotic homogenization), it is not known how urbanization affects the frequency and efficiency of species interactions. Seed dispersal is a plant-animal interaction that depends on disperser feeding rate, disperser diversity, probability of seed dispersal and germination. How these factors are affected by urbanization however is unknown. In this study, we evaluate how urbanization alters these factors. Urban sites had 2x higher feeding rate and 3x higher number of disperser species. The probability of seed dispersal however was the same between natural and urban sites. Moreover, the probability of germination after dispersal was 20% lower in urban sites, leading to overall negative effects of urbanization on T. radicans seed dispersal. In this study we demonstrated that urbanization can affect species diversity, as well as their ecological functions.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Biology Commons