Research at the Arboretum

Staff, students and volunteers planting the new Pond 4 with native aquatic vegetation.

Arboretum Research Spotlight

Wetland research at the Arboretum was highlighted in a December 2013 Scientific American article. Read the story


Aerial photo of the 7.2-acre stormwater treatment facility
with 2 ponds at bottom (inflow), 4 swales, and a
collection pond. The conventional pond (top, with
forebay) receives inflows via a concrete flume (on
right), as well as from the swale system. The facility is
just east of Curtis Prairie.

Cattails invaded where sown species did not
establish by June 2010.
Plot where a native sown species (Bidens cernua) established well, and experienced much less
invasion of cattails.
Dr. Anita Thompson checked elevations of swales and weirs, aided by Dr. John Panuska, UW-Extension (out of
Morgan Moller helped M.S. student Hadley Boehm document cattail invasion in the swales with and without pre-established Bidens. Morgan received Independent Study credit for her work.
Undergraduate Robert Geitner documented rapid cattail invasion in the collection pond, using a floating mattress
to hold his data sheet and sampling frame (before cattails were full-grown). He received Independent Study credit for his research.
To test the effects of species composition and richness on native plants and soil erodibiity, Zedler, S. Loheide, Hadley Boehm, J. Miller and J. Doherty established a mesocosms experiment in the Arboretum using 36 cattle watering tanks.
Joy Rifkin (undergraduate volunteer), Hadley
Boehm and Jim Doherty planted mesocosms
with 1, 3, or 9 native wetland species.
All 36 mesocosms were planted by June 24, 2010.

If you have a question about research at the Arboretum, please send us a message through our online contact form and we will direct it to the appropriate staff member.