ecology




On July 16, 2012, one of several signs posted along Lake Mendota near the Memorial Union Terrace at the University of Wisconsin-Madison warn against swimming during the presence of toxic blue-green algae in the water. Known as cyanobacteria, the algae are photosynthetic bacteria that live in colonies, typically in lakes with excess fertility. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)
On June 7, the summer’s first blue-green algae bloom turned much of Lake Mendota a thick, putrid green color. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Center for Limnology concluded that several factors — including run-off from local farms, multiple days with hot temperatures, and low winds — created near-perfect conditions […]

Zebra mussels in Lake Mendota: the new kid in town







A glade with the regional endemic wildflower Ozark coneflower (Echinacea paradoxa) in bloom, with a gum Bumelia tree in the background. Native wildflowers such as this coneflower are threatened by woody encroachment of glades.
The following is a guest post from Jesse Miller, a former graduate student at UW–Madison in the lab of Ellen Damschen and a current postdoctoral researcher at the University of California-Davis. He summarizes a paper he and his research team recently co-authored in the journal Landscape Ecology: Grasslands are home to […]

Fire may help Ozarks grasslands


According to a recently published study, invasive quagga mussels in Lake Michigan, paired with decreasing nutrient availability, could explain an observed decline in food chain productivity in Lake Michigan. Currently, Lake Michigan is in the midst of a decade-long decline in food chain productivity, or the lake’s ability to produce […]

Going hungry in Lake Michigan