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Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

2013 Cofrin Student Symposium

March 5th, 2 - 4:30 pm

Christie Theatre UWGB Student Union


Please join us for the 24th Cofrin Student Symposium. The four students who received Cofrin Grants to complete independent research in association with one or more Biodiversity Center managed UWGB natural areas will be presenting their results. this is an excellent opportunity to find out more about the program, especially if you are thinking of applying for a grant this year.

Tentative Schedule

Time Speaker Title
2:00 Bob Howe Welcome and Introduction
2:10 Bob Howe Presentation of Sager Scholarship for Undergraduate Scientific Writing to Jesse Cahill
2:20 David Lawrence “Continued Baseline Study of Fish Assemblages in the Wequiock Creek Estuary at Point au Sable, Wisconsin”
2:40 Brianna Kupsky “Monitoring Bats at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Natural Areas” 
3:00 Rachael E. Weldon

"Inventory of Macromycetes and the Development of Standard and Repeatable Protocols"
3:20 Jesse Weinzinger “Mammalian Assemblages at the Wabikon Lake Forest Dynamics Plot"
3:40 Discussion and Social


David A. Lawrence (Advisor: Dr. Patrick Forsythe)

Fish Assemblages of the Wequiock Creek Estuary in Lower Green Bay

The Wequiock Creek Estuary is the largest remaining sizable estuarine system along the east shore of Green Bay. The system suffers from siltation due to farming practices, as well as an invasion by the common reed (Phragmites australis), which has replaced native cattails (Typha latifolia and Typha angustifolia) and other native submergent vegetation along the shore. Nevertheless, this estuary may provide critical nursery habitat for several species of fish because of wetland loss and degradation of coastal and riverine habitats in the Green Bay watershed. Little research has been done on the Wequiock Creek Estuary, making it an ideal area to assess how fish assemblages use coastal wetlands for spawning, foraging, protection, and as a nursery. Fish assemblages were surveyed for three years 2010-2012. Results yielded 26,946 fish representing 35 species. The vast majority of individuals (82.2 %) consisted of yellow perch (Perca flavescens), of which most were young-of-the-year (YOY), suggesting that the Wequiock Creek Estuary plays a significant role as a nursery for this species. Yellow perch contribute to an important commercial and recreational fishing industry in the Green Bay area, and they are a significant element of the bay's native fish fauna. This study of the Wequiock Creek Estuary provides an important baseline for better understanding and managing Great Lakes estuarine systems for future success of not only fish species like yellow perch, but also for other native species of amphibians, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and plants.

Brianna Kupsky (Advisor: Dr. Robert Howe)

“Monitoring Bats at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Natural Areas”

The purpose of this project will be to develop and implement a systematic monitoring program of migratory and resident bat populations at the Pt. Sable Nature Preserve and other UW-Green Bay managed natural areas, particularly the Toft Point Scientific Area in Door County. This work will build on earlier student surveys by Stephani Herman, Sara Gossfeld-Benzing, and Adrianne Wacker (2001), Courtney Lewis (2006) and Richard Novy (2009). My primary focus will be the Pt. Sable Nature Preserve in northern Brown County, but I also will conduct surveys at the Toft Point Scientific Area and other UWGB-managed natural areas, time permitting. This information will create a baseline for future studies and will help verify the composition of resident and migratory bat assemblages at these areas.

Rachael E. Weldon (Advisor: Dr. Alma Rodriguez)

"Development of Standard and Repeatable Protocols to Study Macromycetes Assemblages"

A need has arisen for the development of standard and repeatable protocols for the study of macromycetes (macroscopic fungi). There is an estimated 1.5 million species of fungi worldwide with only approximately 80,000 to 120,000 described species. These abundant and diverse organisms are incredibly important for ecosystems' health due to their innate ability to recycle nutrients. Yet, the ecology of macromycetes is poorly understood. This work seeks to develop a standardized and repeatable protocol to study macromycetes. The study was conducted at the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum (UWGB). Two different sites (Mahon woods and Upper Creek Pond) of 0.25 hectares each were sampled. Three parallel transects (50 x 5 m) were delimited within each site. Transects were surveyed for a total of 40 or 30 minutes (20 or 15 minutes/person effort, depending on the density of the vegetation). Specimens were then counted and identified. Soil moisture, temperature and pH data was also recorded. A total of 63 morphospecies were collected in the Mahon Woods sites, while 23 morphospecies were harvested from the Upper Creek Pond sites. This study indicates that macromycetes diversity is influence by soil characteristics and vegetation in each site. Species composition also varied over time. The present standardized protocol allows comparisons between different sites, habitats and collection times and is of tremendous value to study the ecology of macromycetes.

Jesse Weinzinger (Advisor: Dr. Robert Howe)

Mammal Assemblages at the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot in Forest County, Wisconsin

This paper provides information on mammal assemblages found at the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot in Forest County, Wisconsin. It is crucial that mammal studies are conducted on the plot. This is due to the fact that terrestrial mammal species can profoundly alter the structure and composition of forest communities. The primary objective for this study is to conduct a survey of all mammals at the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot. I used a variety of methods during all seasons of the year in order to catalogue a list of mammal species, their relative abundance, and their distribution within the natural area. The data-collection from this study will inform and educate students and staff about the relative assemblage of certain mammals at the Wabikon Forest Dynamic Plot. This will provide students with beneficial information for further studies.