Madison, WI, United States
Madison, WI, United States

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Anich N.M.,501 Golf Course Road | Worland M.,07 Sutliff Avenue | Martin K.J.,801 Progress Road
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2013

Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) are listed as threatened in Wisconsin, and the boreal habitats in which they occur are likely to be threatened by changing climatic conditions. However, the limited information available on Spruce Grouse in the Upper Great Lakes region makes it unclear which habitat features are important for Spruce Grouse nesting in Wisconsin. We radiotracked 30 female Spruce Grouse in northern Wisconsin from 2007-2012 and located 25 nests. Eighteen of 25 nests were beneath black spruce (Picea mariana) trees. Only three nests were in upland, and only one in a stand of jack pines (Pinus banksiana), in contrast to studies from Michigan and Ontario. Overall concealment was a good predictor of nest sites for Spruce Grouse, but not a good predictor of nest survival. Nest survival was associated with moderately dense and uniform 0-0.5 m lateral vegetation cover. Seventeen of 25 nests were successful, with a daily survival rate of 0.985, overall productivity of 1.0 young/female, and 1.9 young/successful nest. Annual survival of adult males was estimated at 54%, adult females at 40%, and juvenile survival at 14% and 24% by two different methods. Estimates of λ of 0.65 and 0.67 suggest a declining population, but the upper confidence limit exceeds 1, not ruling out a stable or slightly increasing population. Protecting black spruce swamps will protect important nesting habitat for Spruce Grouse in Wisconsin. © 2013 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.


Van Deelen T.R.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Dhuey B.J.,801 Progress Road | Jacques C.N.,801 Progress Road | McCaffery K.R.,07 Sutliff Avenue | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

Effective management of wildlife populations often requires motivating hunters to harvest sufficient numbers of animals of prescribed sex and age classes to meet management goals. For cervids, it is convenient to design harvest regulations relative to presence (male) or absence (young and female) of antlers because harvest of females has a larger effect on population growth. We used regression techniques to evaluate effects of 2 supplemental hunting programs based on additional days of hunting opportunity and an additional incentive used to complement additional days on harvest of antlered and antlerless deer in Wisconsin, USA. Earn-a-buck regulations, an incentive-based program that requires hunters to register an antlerless deer before being authorized to harvest an antlered deer, were associated with an average increase of 2.04 deer/km2 in antlerless harvest and a 0.60 deer/km 2 decrease in harvest of antlered deer. Providing more opportunity for hunting of antlerless deer in the form of 4- and 8-day supplemental firearm seasons was associated with 1.10 deer/km2 and 1.32 deer/km 2 increases, respectively, in antlerless harvest with trivial (0.02 deer/km2 and 0.09 deer/km2) decreases in harvests of antlered deer. Our analysis suggests that extra days of hunting opportunity coupled with the earn-a-buck incentive was 5688 more effective at increasing antlerless harvest relative to additional days of hunting without the incentive. Use of the earn-a-buck incentive resulted in decreased harvest of antlered deer and was disliked by many hunters. Quantifying these relationships is important for helping managers predict the costs and benefits of various hunting programs. © 2010 The Wildlife Society.


Meyer M.W.,WDNR Science Services | Rasmussen P.W.,801 Progress Road | Watras C.J.,University of Wisconsin Trout Lake Station | Fevold B.M.,Ecology and Science LLC | Kenow K.P.,U.S. Geological Survey
Ecotoxicology | Year: 2011

We assessed the ecological risk of mercury (Hg) in aquatic systems by monitoring common loon (Gavia immer) population dynamics and blood Hg concentrations. We report temporal trends in blood Hg concentrations based on 334 samples collected from adults recaptured in subsequent years (resampled 2-9 times) and from 421 blood samples of chicks collected at lakes resampled 2-8 times 1992-2010. Temporal trends were identified with generalized additive mixed effects models and mixed effects models to account for the potential lack of independence among observations from the same loon or same lake. Trend analyses indicated that Hg concentrations in the blood of Wisconsin loons declined over the period 1992-2000, and increased during 2002-2010, but not to the level observed in the early 1990s. The best fitting linear mixed effects model included separate trends for the two time periods. The estimated trend in Hg concentration among the adult loon population during 1992-2000 was -2.6% per year, and the estimated trend during 2002-2010 was +1.8% per year; chick blood Hg concentrations decreased -6.5% per year during 1992-2000, but increased 1.8% per year during 2002-2010. This bi-phasic pattern is similar to trends observed for concentrations of methylmercury and SO 4 in lake water of an intensely studied seepage lake (Little Rock Lake, Vilas County) within our study area. A cause-effect relationship between these independent trends is hypothesized. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Lyons J.,801 Progress Road | Stewart J.S.,U.S. Geological Survey | Mitro M.,801 Progress Road
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2010

Summer air and stream water temperatures are expected to rise in the state of Wisconsin, U.S.A., over the next 50 years. To assess potential climate warming effects on stream fishes, predictive models were developed for 50 common fish species using classification-tree analysis of 69 environmental variables in a geographic information system. Model accuracy was 56.0-93.5% in validation tests. Models were applied to all 86 898 km of stream in the state under four different climate scenarios: current conditions, limited climate warming (summer air temperatures increase 1° C and water 0.8° C), moderate warming (air 3° C and water 2.4° C) and major warming (air 5° C and water 4° C). With climate warming, 23 fishes were predicted to decline in distribution (three to extirpation under the major warming scenario), 23 to increase and four to have no change. Overall, declining species lost substantially more stream length than increasing species gained. All three cold-water and 16 cool-water fishes and four of 31 warm-water fishes were predicted to decline, four warm-water fishes to remain the same and 23 warm-water fishes to increase in distribution. Species changes were predicted to be most dramatic in small streams in northern Wisconsin that currently have cold to cool summer water temperatures and are dominated by cold-water and cool-water fishes, and least in larger and warmer streams and rivers in southern Wisconsin that are currently dominated by warm-water fishes. Results of this study suggest that even small increases in summer air and water temperatures owing to climate warming will have major effects on the distribution of stream fishes in Wisconsin. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2010 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


Wang L.,University of Michigan | Infante D.,Michigan State University | Lyons J.,801 Progress Road | Stewart J.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 2 more authors.
River Research and Applications | Year: 2011

Regional assessment of cumulative impacts of dams on riverine fish assemblages provides resource managers essential information for dam operation, potential dam removal, river health assessment and overall ecosystem management. Such an assessment is challenging because characteristics of fish assemblages are not only affected by dams, but also influenced by natural variation and human-induced modification (in addition to dams) in thermal and flow regimes, physicochemical habitats and biological assemblages. This study evaluated the impacts of dams on river fish assemblages in the non-impoundment sections of rivers in the states of Michigan and Wisconsin using multiple fish assemblage indicators and multiple approaches to distinguish the influences of dams from those of other natural and human-induced factors. We found that environmental factors that influence fish assemblages in addition to dams should be incorporated when evaluating regional effects of dams on fish assemblages. Without considering such co-influential factors, the evaluation is inadequate and potentially misleading. The role of dams alone in determining fish assemblages at a regional spatial scale is relatively small (explained less than 20% of variance) compared with the other environmental factors, such as river size, flow and thermal regimes and land uses jointly. However, our results do demonstrate that downstream and upstream dams can substantially modify fish assemblages in the non-impoundment sections of rivers. After excluding river size and land-use influences, our results clearly demonstrate that dams have significant impacts on fish biotic-integrity and habitat-and-social-preference indicators. The influences of the upstream dams, downstream dams, distance to dams, and dam density differ among the fish indicators, which have different implications for maintaining river biotic integrity, protecting biodiversity and managing fisheries. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Cochran P.A.,Saint Mary's University of Minnesota | Lyons J.,801 Progress Road
Environmental Biology of Fishes | Year: 2010

Silver Lamprey (Ichthyomyzon unicuspis) in the Wisconsin River attached within the branchial cavity of Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) significantly more often (6. 5% of 1,578 attachments) than would be expected by chance on the basis of its relative surface area (3. 7%), with as many as four lampreys found together within the branchial cavity of the same Paddlefish. Similar behavior has occasionally been noted for lampreys in other systems, but the phenomenon may be underreported when the lampreys are concealed from view. As suggested previously for some parasitic trychomycterid catfishes, lampreys in the branchial cavity may benefit from accessing blood under pressure, especially in the ventral aorta. In addition, Silver Lamprey within the branchial cavities of Paddlefish may be relatively protected from any negative effects that might result from Paddlefish breaching. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Sass L.L.,University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point | Bozek M.A.,University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point | Hauxwell J.A.,801 Progress Road | Wagner K.,801 Progress Road | Knight S.,University of Wisconsin - Madison
Aquatic Botany | Year: 2010

Aquatic macrophyte communities were assessed in 53 lakes in Wisconsin, U.S.A. along environmental and land use development gradients to determine effects human land use perturbations have on aquatic macrophytes at the watershed and riparian development scales. Species richness and relative frequency were surveyed in lakes from two ecoregions: the Northern Lakes and Forests Ecoregion and the Southeastern Wisconsin Till Plain Ecoregion. Lakes were selected along a gradient of watershed development ranging from undeveloped (i.e., forested), to agricultural to urban development. Land uses occurring in the watershed and in perimeters of different width (0-100, 0-200, 0-500, and 0-1000 m from shore, in the watershed) were used to assess effects on macrophyte communities. Snorkel and SCUBA were used to survey aquatic macrophyte species in 18 quadrats of 0.25 m 2 along 14 transects placed perpendicular to shore in each lake. Effects of watershed development (e.g., agriculture and/or urban) were tested at whole-lake (entire littoral zone) and near-shore (within 7 m of shore) scales using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and linear regression. Overall, species richness was negatively related to watershed development, while frequencies of individual species and groups differed in level of response to different land use perturbations. Effects of land use in the perimeters on macrophytes, with a few exceptions, did not provide higher correlations compared to land use at the watershed scale. In lakes with higher total watershed development levels, introduced species, particularly Myriophyllum spicatum, increased in abundance and native species, especially potamids, isoetids, and floating-leaved plants, declined in abundance. Correlations within the northern and southeastern ecoregions separately were not significant. Multivariate analyses suggested species composition is driven by environmental responses as well as human development pressures. Both water chemistry and land use variables loaded positively with the first CCA axis indicating that these factors are correlated. Land use pressures in Wisconsin are greater in the southeastern portion of the state where lakes have higher concentrations of water chemistry variables including alkalinity, conductivity, pH, calcium, magnesium, and nitrogen. This creates a complex gradient that influences species composition of macrophyte communities from lake to lake. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Mikulyuk A.,801 Progress Road | Sharma S.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | van Egeren S.,801 Progress Road | Erdmann E.,801 Progress Road | And 2 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2011

Quantifying the relative role of environmental and spatial factors to understand patterns in community composition is a fundamental goal of community ecology. We applied a tested and repeatable point-intercept sampling method to aquatic macrophyte assemblages in 225 Wisconsin lakes to understand the ability of environmental, land-use, and spatial patterns to explain aquatic plant distribution and abundance. Using a variation partitioning framework in conjunction with Moran eigenvector maps we found that environmental, land-use, and spatial patterns explained 31% of total adjusted variation in aquatic macrophyte assemblages across the landscape. Environmental factors were the most important (contributing 34% of the total explained variation), but all sources of variation were statistically significant. Community composition varied from north to south along a gradient of alkalinity and from disturbed to undisturbed lakes, diverging according to whether disturbance was urban or agricultural. The large amount of shared variation among predictor variables suggests causal relationships are complex and emphasizes the importance of considering space and land-use in addition to environmental factors when characterizing macrophyte assemblages. This work is the first to examine the joint and unique effects of environment, land-use, and spatial patterns on aquatic plant communities.


Perennial coolwater streams (maximum daily mean water temperature 20.7-24.6°C; 90th percentile annual exceedence flow ≥ 0.0283 m 3/s) are common in the Laurentian Great Lakes region of North America, including the state of Wisconsin, but they lack specific and effective bioassessment tools. I used landscape-scale ecological modeling of geographically referenced data on stream location, stream and valley slope, watershed surficial geology, air temperatures, riparian and watershed land cover, watershed road and population densities, and watershed nutrient and wastewater inputs to classify Wisconsin stream sites based on water temperature, flow, and degree of environmental degradation. Fish data from sites classified as perennial coolwater were then analyzed with objective standardized procedures to develop coolwater indices of biotic integrity (IBI). Because of substantial differences in their fish assemblages, separate IBI's were formulated for cool-cold transition (20.7-22.5°C) and cool-warm transition (22.6-24.6°C) streams. The cool-cold transition IBI had five metrics: numbers of darter, madtom, and sculpin species, of coolwater species, and of intolerant species, and the percentages of individuals as tolerant species and as generalist feeders. Scoring criteria differed between northern and southern Wisconsin (boundary at 44.6°N latitude) for the coolwater species metric. The cool-warm transition IBI also had five metrics: numbers of native minnow, of intolerant, and of benthic invertivore species, and percentages of individuals as tolerant species and as omnivores. Scoring criteria differed between small and large streams (boundary at 200 km 2 watershed area) for the intolerant species, benthic invertivore species, and percentage tolerants metrics. In validation tests, scores for both IBI's were significantly related to independent measures of human disturbance, indicating that the IBI's would be useful tools for assessing the environmental quality of coolwater streams. However, for any given level of human disturbance, scores for both IBI's varied substantially, suggesting that multiple IBI samples from multiple sites would be needed to provide a reliable evaluation of a particular stream segment. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


McDonald C.P.,801 Progress Road | Lathrop R.C.,University of Wisconsin - Madison
Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2016

Water quality in the Yahara chain of lakes in southern Wisconsin has been degraded significantly since European settlement of the region, primarily as a result of anthropogenic nutrient inputs. While all four main lakes (Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa) have undergone eutrophication, elevated phosphorus and chlorophyll concentrations are particularly pronounced in the smaller lakes at the bottom of the chain (Waubesa and Kegonsa). Due to their short water residence times (2–3 months), these lakes are more responsive to seasonal variability in magnitude and source of phosphorus loading compared with the larger upstream lakes. In 2014, more than 80 % of the phosphorus load to Lake Waubesa passed through the outlet of Lake Monona (situated immediately upstream). However, between mid-May and late October when phosphorus concentrations in Lake Monona were reduced as a result of thermal stratification the upstream load dropped to ~40 % of the total, with the majority of loading during this period coming from Lake Waubesa’s local watershed. Correspondingly, seasonal phosphorus trends in Lake Waubesa during summer are correlated with precipitation, rather than phosphorus concentrations leaving upstream lakes. While phosphorus export from the local watersheds of Lakes Waubesa and Kegonsa is relatively small on an annual time scale, targeted loading reductions in these areas during the summertime will most effectively reduce summertime phosphorus concentrations in these fast-flushing lakes. Understanding the interaction of landscape position, water residence time, and mixing regime can help guide watershed management for water quality improvements in lake chains. © 2016 Springer International Publishing

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