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Research in the Garden

Tuesday, October 04, 2016
by Paige Lyons | Arts Director

The Allen Centennial Garden is a great space for relaxation and learning, but did you know the Garden is also a space that supports important research here at UW-Madison? I recently had the pleasure of learning about two research projects happening in the Garden.

The first project is that of Christelle Guedot’s lab, which studies the invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. This insect was accidently introduced from Southeast Asia in the 1990s and was first identified in Wisconsin in 2010. They are known to be a nuisance over winter in our homes, but also are an agricultural pest. The Guedot Lab is monitoring populations of the insect in the Garden and in about 20 other locations in southern Wisconsin. Look for the Stink Bug trap –– a black, foam core pyramid –– in the Woodland Garden.

A second project is led by Andrew Jablonski, a M.S. student in Forestry and Wildlife Ecology. Andrew is on a mission to measure CO2 absorption by plants in a different way. Current research uses a method that creates a small chamber around a leaf and measures how gases change over time. This process can only measure CO2 on a small scale, and thus global estimates for CO2 absorption are highly unreliable. Jablonski’s utilizes spectroscopy, or the measure of how light is absorbed or reflected on the leaf surface, to measure photosynthesis. His ultimate goal is to be part of the creation of technology that could measure CO2 absorption on an ecosystem, or even planetary level.

“I'm using the Allen Garden because there is a wide diversity of plant types from which to gather data. From a science perspective, it's really easy to model anything if you are looking at just one species. The real challenge is having success on a wide diversity of species. The Allen Centennial Garden is an incredible resource in that regard, as there is fantastic diversity of species. This is my second year using the Gardens as a collection area, and it’s been invaluable to me.”

More information can be found about these and other research projects here:

http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/townsend/

http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/fruitcropentomology/

The Allen Centennial Garden and its programs are funded entirely through private support - it receives no state or tuition dollars. To help support the Garden and continue to make our projects and programs possible, please consider a donation.

Tags: UW Students, Green Initiatives

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Allen Centennial Garden
620 Babcock Drive
Madison WI 53706
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Phone: 608-576-2501
E-mail: info@allencentennialgarden.org

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