COMPARISON OF THE INVERTEBRATE ECOSYSTEM WITHIN AN INCREASINGLY URBAN ENVIRONMENT
Ecologists understand the invaluable role invertebrates perform as primary producers of decomposition, nutrient recycling, and pollination, yet the effects of urbanization on their population ecology is lacking. While urban ecology has increased efforts to understand these phenomena, many in the field have suggested a new framework that lies somewhere between landscape and backyard ecology, finding a balance in the scales. In this study, invertebrates were collected across the District of Columbia at five random locations via pitfall and Berlese sampling techniques. Specimen identification, diversity indices, species richness, similarity estimates were performed on the collected population. Rank, abundance calculations and Class/Order proportions were performed at each research site. GIS was used to create and record collection sites, along with the attempt to establish specific environmental parameters believed to affect the invertebrate ecology. Population density and disturbance provided possible rank correlations to decline in species diversity for the given research areas and should be investigated further.