Gabriel R. Trujillo

Lake Forest Richter Scholar 2012


Title: Ant species richness along the urban to rural gradient


Abstract: With the increasing spread of urbanization, Chicago's natural areas are dwindling. However, the land surrounding Chicago's Metra rail system acts as an untouched pathway from the city's urban center to its surrounding suburban and then rural towns. Through this study, I will examine and compare the effects of the urban to rural gradient on ant diversity through the use of the Metra Rail tracks and unconnected residential sites. I will record ant species richness, both at stations and adjacent residential areas, to compare species' ranges along this urban-to-rural gradient. This data will hopefully provide evidence for my hypothesis that urbanization negatively affects species richness in ants. My data, partnered with the "School of Ants," will be used as part of a larger database of ant species richness in the United States.