Date of Award


Degree Type



Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Walton, B. M.

Subject Headings

Urban ecology (Biology) -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Urban entomology -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Wasps -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Hymenoptera -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Urbanization -- Environmental aspects -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Urban Ecology Entomology Hymenoptera Urban Agriculture Vacant Land


For the first time in human history, more than half of the human population lives in urban areas (Pickett et al 2011). It is essential that research occurs in urban ecosystems understanding both the biological and social aspects of urban ecosystems is needed for the sustainable management of urban ecosystems (Angold et al. 2006, Fetridge et al. 2008, Loram et al. 2008, Matteson et al. 2008, McIntyre 2000, Picket et al 2011, Pickett et al 2001, Sumoski et al. 2009) This study examines the role of insects, specifically wasps, in urban gardens and vacant lots in Cleveland, Ohio. This study is intended to (1) provide a broader survey of Hymenoptera in an urban context (2) provide new information on diversity and distribution of parasitoid Hymenoptera (3) assess the potential for parasitoids as providers of bio-control services for urban agriculture in Cleveland, OH (4) determine the extent to which lot or garden area affects the number of wasp species occurring in those habitats and (5) provide useful information for the conservation and urban landscape management strategies that optimize the ecosystem services provided by urban Hymenoptera. I collected 13,339 insects and arachnids via beat net, belonging to 14 different arthropod orders. Nearly twice as many individuals were found at vacant lots versus gardens. The differences in insect community structure at vacant lots and gardens, based on the beat net collections, were highly significant. I collected a total of 5,165 wasps, distributed among 24 families and 369 morphospecies. I found higher wasp abundance at vacant lots (2,703 individuals) versus gardens (2,462 individuals), higher species richness at vacant lots (288 morphospecies) versus gardens (231 morphospecies), and more families at vacant lots (23) versus gardens (21). The average number of morphospecies was higher at lots (93.71) than gardens (63.44), with an overall average of 76.69. Although comparable data from other cities are few, my results indicate that wasp diversity in Cleveland