New invasive Phragmites management recommendations available
MAISRC researchers have released recommendations for treating invasive Phragmites. The management recommendations, available here, will help AIS managers, agencies, and other groups respond to the spread of this aquatic invasive plant in Minnesota.
Researchers have built a collaborative network to help collect data on invasive Phragmites distribution in Minnesota. Leaf samples have been collected and analyzed by partners at the Chicago Botanic Garden to genetically confirm non-native strains. Researchers are further testing the extent to which it is sexually reproducing in Minnesota’s climate by collecting seeds and performing viability tests. Knowing how much spread there is by seed is important; once viable seeds start spreading by wind and water, control is much more difficult and expensive. Researchers are also looking for patterns that indicate climate sensitivity that could limit seed production.
Invasive Phragmites (European strain) is a tall, aggressively growing grass that can take over large areas of wetland and shoreline, push out native vegetation, and reduce habitat quality for wildlife. In Minnesota, it is a “cryptic invader” because native Phragmites is widespread throughout the state. Consult this ID Guide to learn how to spot the differences between native and non-native Phragmites. If you see a population that you suspect is invasive, report it to MNPhrag@umn.edu.