Tag Ecology

Green spaces in cities help control floods, store carbon

A new study finds that urban green spaces like backyards, city parks and golf courses contribute substantially to the ecological fabric of our cities — and the wider landscape — and should be included in ecological data.

New Arboretum director continues legacy of restoration, teaching

As fall slowly hardens to winter in Madison, part of Karen Oberhauser’s new job is to walk the trails of the UW–Madison Arboretum, getting a sense not just for the geography, but for the land itself. That’s because the land Oberhauser walks is now under her care.

All hands on deck to understand, predict, prevent abrupt ecological change

“It’s a generally thorny problem and we are often scrambling to react,” says lead principal investigator Monica Turner. “In fact, understanding abrupt change in ecological systems is among the biggest challenges in contemporary ecology.”

Citizen scientists scour Madison area for invasive jumping worms

The worms churn through leaf litter at a faster clip than their more sluggish earthworm cousins, potentially processing nutrients faster than plants are able to use them and disrupting ecosystems.

Student art exhibit explores Arboretum prairies through comics, stories

As part of her master of fine arts thesis, Liz Anna Kozik has installed an exhibit telling the story of the first restored prairie in the world, Curtis Prairie at the UW–Madison Arboretum.

When it comes to biological populations, expect the unexpected

More than three decades of data on the physical, chemical and biological variables in 11 Midwestern lakes show that while lake temperatures and nutrient concentrations rise within relatively expected ranges, biological organisms achieve high population extremes.

Enormous swarms of midges teach about interconnected landscapes

Research into the insects' behavior aims to better understand lake-dominated environments, including those of Wisconsin.

Arboretum prairies offer rare refuge for vanishing bumblebee

A proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to seek endangered status for the rusty-patched bumblebee has focused renewed attention on bumblebees living in the 1,200-acre natural area.

New study examines where and how climate change is altering species

A new study shows how and where changing climate conditions could affect the communities of species in any given area. In…

Thrive or fail: Examining forest resilience in the face of fires

“It’s not only western forests where these things matter, where disturbances and changing environments shape regional landscapes,” says Wisconsin researcher Monica Turner.

Giant forest fires exterminate spotted owls, long-term study finds

A UW–Madison research group has documented an exodus of owls following the fierce, 99,000 acre King Fire in California in 2014.

Friendly fire

UW Arboretum land care staff member Austin Pethan uses a drip torch as a 10-person staff manages a prescribed fire at Juniper Knoll on March 29. Fire is used as a wildland management tool to help control competing vegetation, reduce potential buildup of excess flammable materials, and perpetuate fire-dependent species.

No snow, no hares: Climate change pushes emblematic species north

UW researchers report that the range of the snowshoe hare in Wisconsin is creeping north by about five and a half miles per decade.