EngagedScholarship@CSU Effects of Forest Edges, Exotic Ants and Nonnative Plants on Local Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Diversity in Urban Forest Fragments of Northeastern Ohio EFFECTS OF FOREST EDGES, EXOTIC ANTS AND NONNATIVE PLANTS ON LOCAL ANT (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) DIVERSITY IN URBAN FOREST FRAGMENTS OF NORTHEASTERN OHIO
External Examiner "The worst thing that can happen-will happen [in the 1980s]-is not energy depletion, economic collapse, limited nuclear war, or conquest by a totalitarian government. As terrible as these catastrophes would be for us, they can be repaired within a few generations. The one process ongoing in the 1980s that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely
... to forgive us." Wilson EO (Harvard Magazine 1980) ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Numerous people provided help, as diverse as it was important, that made this work possible. I am deeply grateful to all these individuals. My original advisor, Dr. Tarun Mal, believed in me and took me as his student. He provided mentorship, valuable advice, and enormous help during the initial stages of my work and I take pride acknowledging his contribution to the research presented here. I would like to thank my major advisor, Dr. Joe Keiper, who stepped in and gave me the opportunity and freedom to study what I desired. His expertise helped me improve my critical thinking, presentation and writing skills. He put up with me and always was there when I needed help. I also thank my advisory committee members, Dr. Michael Walton, Dr. Robert Krebs, Dr. Daniel Petit, and Dr. Jaharul Haque for their support and encouragement over the course of my work at Cleveland State University. Dr. Ralph Gibson and Dr. Paul Doerder inspired me and provided good conversation along the way. I am grateful for their help and above all for their friendship. I thank Dr. Gibson for his thorough and critical reviews of the different components of my written work, for the good beer and for the even better food. I thank Dr. Doerder for the numerous hours of entertaining conversations and for keeping my mind on track when my head was somewhere else. I gratefully acknowledge those who assisted with the data collection and contributed many hours of hard work in the field. In particular, I thank Jen Milligan, without whom the data collection would have been impossible, and Owen Lockhart, for all his help, advice, and for showing me that there are other organisms out there besides ants. I am most fortunate to have many friends and colleagues who helped in various ways over the course of my study. In particular, I take pleasure in acknowledging Shim Balanson, Nick Mikash, Dr.