Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Major Professor

Charles Kwit

Committee Members

David S. Buckley, Randall L. Small


Bees provide the essential ecosystem service of pollination. Bee communities are often subjected to anthropological activities and in some cases are harmed by these activities. Fortunately, silviculture is a form of anthropological disturbance that can benefit bees and subsequent pollination. While the impacts of intensive silvicultural methods, such as clearcutting, on bees has been well documented, the impacts of lower intensity methods, such as group selection, is less understood. For my first chapter, I investigated bee community characteristics across microsites (center of cut, edge of cut, and closed-canopy forest) in three forest stands subjected to cuts analogous to those associated with low-intensity group selection harvests in the Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina. Bee community dissimilarity, diversity, and indicator species were compared among the three microsites. Results revealed the communities of the center of cut and forest microsites to be dissimilar. Alpha diversity between these two microsites, as measured through a series of diversity measures that progressively down-weighted the importance of rare species, was also significantly different. Communities in edge and forest microsites were dissimilar, and diversity in edge microsites differed significantly from the forest microsite but not the center of cut microsite. Finally, center of cut and forest microsites were characterized by different indicator species, and indicator species for the edge microsites were a subset of the indicator species for center of cut microsites. For my second chapter, I utilized the same forest stands and an additional fourth stand subjected to group selection harvests. I investigated inter- and intra-cut pollen proxy movement as a function of the distance between group selection openings. Results revealed that the distance between openings did not have a significant effect on either inter-cut or intra-cut pollen proxy movement. As the first study to quantify the effects group selection silviculture has on in bee community characteristics in southern Appalachia and the first study to investigate impacts of group selection on pollination, I have illustrated that incorporating group selection practices in the management of forested landscapes may assist in supporting a wide range of bee community types without significantly impacting the process of pollination.


Portions of this document are currently in review for acceptance in a journal.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."