The Friends established a research endowment fund to support academic studies that assist Park management make informed decisions at the Park.
Graduate Student Stephanie Jagemann received support from Friends of Peninsula State Park to use the park as a site in her Oak Wilt study. Jagemann’s research is from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Entomology, Professor Kenneth Raffa. She received central grant support from the Wisconsin DNR in addition to the Friends of Peninsula State Park. Peninsula is one of twelve sites under study.
Report Excerpt: Results to Date at Peninsula State Park
By Stephanie Jagemann
To date, I have visited Peninsula State Park 11 times this year and plan on collecting at least 5 – 6 more times, depending on how long the beetles continue flying (based on trap catches). My traps are located off of Hemlock trail. I park at Sven’s Bluff, walk up the road to the Hemlock Trail crossing, turn right onto the trail and follow it until it intersects a larger trail. At that intersection I go left, and about a quarter mile or less down the new trail the traps are off to the right. They are hard to see from the trail, this was done purposefully on my part, and no one has touched (or found) the traps so far, and they are working great.
At each of my field sites, including Peninsula, I have six wind oriented funnel traps hanging 1.5 – 3 m off of the ground. Each of the six traps has a pheromone (3 have Colopterus truncatus pheromones and 3 have Corpophilus sayi pheromones) and homemade dough bait. The dough bait consists of flour, sugar, yeast, and water and is made to a toothpaste consistency. Previous research by Dr. Jennifer Juzwik (USDA FS, St. Paul, MN) has shown that this combination of dough bait and pheromone has led to trapping the most beetles. On the bottom of the trap is a funnel that leads to a collection vial filled with shredded paper and a kill strip. The shredded paper is to stop the beetles from rolling around together at the bottom, so that when I go back to do fungal cultivation the beetles have not been touching and transferring fungal spores to one another. Fungal cultivation is to show what percentage of beetles caught actually carry viable Oak Wilt propagules. Hopefully, Peninsula State Park will not have any viable growing fungus because Oak Wilt is not known to be present.
Peninsula is a unique field site, in that out of my 12 total sites, it is one of the 2 sites that does not have Oak Wilt present. Although it is still early in the processing stage, we have started to work on samples received from Peninsula State Park. The most interesting thing to note is that we are capturing Colopterus truncatus and Carpophilus sayi (the two main vectors of Oak Wilt in Wisconsin) even though Oak Wilt is not present in the park. This means that the vector is present in the park, and in average numbers compared to other parks with Oak Wilt, but the fungus is not present. Total numbers for season are not in yet, so I cannot speculate too far, but I do find this really interesting and it may help in my later olfactometer studies to determine what these beetles are actually attracted to – the Oak Wilt fungus Ceratocystis fagacerium, or another fungus, sap, or fermenting food it prefers more.