Warming Winters and the Regional Implications for the Subnivean Climate

Many plants and animals use the stable environment underneath the snowpack, called the subnivium, as a refuge from harsh winter weather. The depth, density, and duration of the snowpack determine the climatic conditions of the subnivium, which are typically much milder due to the insulation provided by the snow.

Urban Pollination Study of Green Roofs on the UWM Campus

Can green roofs help pollinators thrive alongside urbanization? While our cities continue to grow and green space becomes sparse, it is imperative that we supply pollinators with a resource-rich natural habitat. By analyzing pollinator use, insect diversity, floral abundance, and floral diversity, we sought to discover if green roofs can provide crucial habitat for pollinating insects.

Comparison of Population Growth Rates with Anhydrobiotic Survival Rates Across Multiple Temporal and Spatial Scales in a Habrotrocha rosa Metapopulation

Anhydrobiosis, the phenomenon in which organisms undergo complete desiccation then rehydration, has been thoroughly studied in tardigrades and to a lesser extent in some rotifer species. We examined the bdelloid rotifer Habrotrocha rosa which thrives within the rainwater filled pitchershaped leaves of Sarracenia purpurea. This carnivorous plant ranges widely throughout North America and, in some areas, experiences midsummer drought-like conditions.

Wood Duck Nest Box and Small Owl Nest/Roosting Box Project

Beginning in 2012 and through 2015, following traditionally proven protocols for nest box construction, placement, maintenance, and monitoring, the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog (FOCB) installed 14 duck nest boxes in and around the Bog complex. Eleven of the duck nest boxes were installed over land on trees near woodland ponds, lakes, or streams. In 2015 three of the boxes were installed on galvanized steel poles over water—two in a seasonal woodland pond and one on the edge of a small cattail marsh extending 40 feet out from the shoreline of the largest island in Mud Lake.

Breeding Bird Survey at the Cedarburg Bog

The Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II is the second comprehensive field study to document the distribution and abundance of bird species across Wisconsin. The first Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas was conducted from 1995 through 2001. The second Atlas (WBBA II) will collect data from 2015 through 2019. Field work for the atlas is conducted in geographic “blocks” based on USGS quads across all of Wisconsin.

Long-term Monitoring of Bat Activity and Temperature at the Neda Mine Bat Hibernaculum

The Neda Mine, an abandoned iron mine located near Iron Ridge in Dodge Co., supports about 150,000 bats each winter, making it among the largest hibernacula in the midwest. The mine is used primarily by little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), with northern bats (M. septentrionalis), eastern pipistrelles (Perimyotis subflavus), and big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) found in smaller numbers.

Survey of Hymenoptera Pollinator Populations on Washington Island, Wisconsin

Pollinating insects are highly beneficial in both natural ecosystems and agriculture, but many species are in decline. This project’s goal was to survey Hymenoptera pollinators on Washington Island, WI, and to explore factors influencing their abundance and diversity. The two sites included the Washington Island Butterfly House, which has undergone extensive prairie restoration, and Sweet Mountain Farm, an apiary breeding western honey bees.

Long-term Dynamics of Southeastern Wisconsin Prairie Remnants

Across the Midwest, less than one percent of pre-settlement prairies exist today – having been largely converted to agriculture via Euro-American settlement. These remnant communities often manifest in tiny, widely scattered and marginal populations of questionable viability. Understanding how the remaining remnants respond to both historical and changing environmental conditions is critical to managing their continued presence on the landscape.

Survey for Flying Squirrels at the UWM Field Station

Conservation of biodiversity requires accurate species lists for particular properties and monitoring of population trends over time, to detect population declines for species of interest before they become severe. The UWM Field Station property includes a high-quality old-growth beech-maple forest that is one of the best remaining examples of this type of forest in southeastern Wisconsin.

Use of Mark-Recapture Techniques to Estimate Turtle Populations at the UWM Field Station

Information on long-term trends in reptile populations can yield useful conservation information. This is particularly true because long-term monitoring projects that involve reptile populations are relatively uncommon, especially in Wisconsin. In 2006 we began an annual turtle survey on the Field Station Grounds, lasting for three days each year in late May/early June. We set turtle hoop traps approved by the Wisconsin DNR in several locations, which we checked daily during annual surveys. All of the animals captured were marked via marginal scute notches, following a well-established system.