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 invasion because native Phragmites is present as well. Researchers at the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center are mapping the current distribution of Phragmites in Minnesota, determining its capacity for further spread, and developing management protocols for responding to different invasion scenarios. Click here to learn more about Phragmites and its impacts.

Researchers have built a collaborative network to help collect data on Phragmites presence in Minnesota. Tissue samples have been collected and analyzed by partners at the Chicago Botanic Garden to genetically confirm non-native status. Researchers are identifying whether it is sexually reproductive by collecting seeds and conducting seed viability tests. Knowing whether it can spread by seed (sexually) or just clonally is important; once viable seeds start spreading by wind and water, eradication and control is much more difficult and expensive. Researchers are also looking for patterns that indicate climate or temperature sensitivity that may be limiting seed production.

This work has led to the development of an assessment of capacity and possible strategies to support a strategic, coordinated response to invasive Phragmites in Minnesota. With 389 verified populations distributed over an estimated 50 acres, there is a window of opportunity now to reverse invasive Phragmites spread in the state.

Participate in a Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework training

The following information is from the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative, and is not affiliated with MAISRC/MNPhrag.

Are you currently managing or planning to manage non-native Phragmites within the Great Lakes basin or in neighboring watersheds within Great Lake States or Provinces? If so, consider participating in the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF) and do your part to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of non-native Phragmites management.

The PAMF is currently recruiting non-native Phragmites managers for a PAMF training session in near the Twin Cities in Minnesota that will be hosted at the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Shoreview office on June 28th from 10:00am – 2:00pm. Our target audience is everyone from landowners to land managers who are actively controlling non-native Phragmites or are interested in doing so in the near future.

As a bit of background, PAMF is a program seeking to improve non-native Phragmites management outcomes in the Great Lakes basin by incorporating adaptive management and collective learning techniques into a decision-support tool. For this program to succeed and transform non-native Phragmites management in this region, we need participation from land managers like you! In return, this program can serve you by offering data-driven, site-specific management guidance, and you can serve the broader non-native Phragmites phighting community by being a part of this collective learning process. At the training, we will cover what your role as a PAMF participant involves, some background on the program, enrolling and monitoring procedures, and what kind of management guidance you can expect to receive. This training will not show you how to manage non-native Phragmites or go over specific management implementation techniques. Rather, we will spend our time walking through the PAMF program so that you are able to collect data appropriately, receive effective and efficient management guidance, and contribute to the collect learning of non-native Phragmites managers across the basin.

If you would like to learn more about PAMF, please reach out to If your interest is piqued enough, please consider attending our training session where we talk about PAMF's program and what participant involvement looks like as well as demonstrate our standardized data collection procedures. Registration and participation are free!

Register here to attend this training!

about phragmites
Phragmites map
Phragmites management
Phrag ID Guide
Phrag Invasion biology
reversing spread