Assessing the Influence of Urban Greening on Urban Arthropods

Project Abstract

Green Heart is an urban greening experiment in Louisville, KY seeking to create new urban green spaces, to increase air quality, and ultimately improve human health. Concurrent with this urban greening, they also aim to reduce populations of herbivorous pests, like the invasive Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), which could negatively affect implementation and management of green spaces, and other Arthropods, like bed bugs and mites, that could negatively influence human health. The objective of our ongoing study is to assess how urban greening influences Arthropod diversity, abundances overall, and the diversity and abundances of herbivorous pests, which could negatively influence greening applications and long-term management, and Arthropods of human health significance. During the summers of 2019 – 2022, we sampled for Arthropods on road right aways within a 0.3 m2 frame using a vacuum sampler at 140 sites inside (n = 34) and outside (n = 106) of an urban greening area within a residential neighborhood in Louisville, KY. In September of 2021 we deployed traps in trees to capture flying arthropods in private yards (n=13) and public control sites (n=5). Most of our sampling has occurred pre-greening and we will continue to sample as greening applications are completed throughout the neighborhood for at least the next 2 years. All sampling until now has occurred in the summer and focused on terrestrial, ground dwelling Arthropods, while we have little information on the Arthropod communities inside the residential properties where greening is planned. Thus, our objectives for this project are to 1) assess the response of tree bole (i.e. tree trunks) and flying Arthropod communities to greening and other environmental characteristics (e.g. leaf area indices, canopy cover, etc.) aside from greening that may independently or interactively influence Arthropod communities.

Funding Type

Research Grant

Academic College

Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology


Wildlife and Conservation Biology


Bachelors Wildlife Biology




Dr. Andrea Darracq, PhD

Academic College

Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology

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