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Also: Lake St. Clair
  Non-Native Phragmites
in the Great Lakes Region

What's New | Overview | Studies/Management Plans | Federal Resources | State/Provincial Resources
 
Current invaders:
Crustaceans: Rusty Crayfish | Spiny Water Flea
Fish: Goby (Round) | Goby (Tubenose) | Rudd | Ruffe | Sea Lamprey | White Perch
Mollusks: Quagga Mussel | Zebra Mussel
Plants: Curly-leaf Pondweed | Eurasian Watermilfoil | Phragmites (non-native) | Purple Loosestrife
Viruses: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSv)
 
Potential invaders:
Fish: Asian Carp

[Invasive species home page]

 
What's New
Town of Sturgeon Bay joins fight against invasives
Green Bay Press Gazette (5/13)
In Wisconsin, the Sturgeon Bay Town Board voted last week to contribute $400 to Door County’s invasive species eradication effort, becoming the first municipality to fund the county’s effort this year. The county targets two wild plants: wild parsnips and phragmites.

Managing Phragmites on USACE Restoration Projects
(3/16)
A new blog post featured on the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative website highlights the work the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing to manage and investigate strategies against the invasive Phragmites australis in several states in the Great Lakes region.

Grant funds to pay for Black River cleanup
The Chronicle-Telegram (3/6)
A new federal grant will help a Lorain County, Ohio, program continue to eradicate phragmites and other invasive species along the Black River.

Elgin County to join growing lobby to control phragmites
St. Thomas Times Journal (2/13)
In Ontario, Elgin county is about to join a growing lobby hoping to get more action that will allow it to take more measures to control phragmites.

Grant program to fight Michigan invaders
Great Lakes Echo (12/5)
The state of Michigan has created a grant program to rid Michigan of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species. A committee from the Michigan departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality will review applications for $3.6 million in grants.

Webinar: Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative
(10/22)
The Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative webinar series focuses on invasive Phragmites in the Great Lakes region, and encourages dialogue and technology transfer. Register now for the next free webinar, Effects of Elevated CO2 and Nitrogen Pollution on Phragmites austrailis, which will take place Nov. 12.

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Overview
Phragmites Phragmites australis, also known as common reed or phragmites, is an invasive perennial grass that has spread rapidly throughout coastal and interior wetlands, riparian corridors, roadside ditches and other disturbed areas within the Great Lakes basin.

There are varieties of phragmites native to the Great Lakes region, but these grow more slowly and less aggressively than the non-native strain thought to have originated in Europe. Since introduction, the non-native strain of phragmites has spread pervasively through the Great Lakes region and other regions of the United States by both natural and human-driven dispersal mechanisms.

Due to its dense growth both above and below ground, phragmites can create stands 10-15 feet in height that effectively crowd and shade out native wetland and coastal species. As native assemblages are replaced by phragmites, species diversity is reduced and wildlife habitat quality is degraded. Dense phragmites stands can even alter the hydrologic regime of invaded wetlands by increasing evaporation and trapping sediment. Economic impacts of invasive phragmites infestations include reductions in property values and revenue loss from impacted recreational activities due to impeded access to coastal areas and restricted views.

Photo credit: 2008 Fact Sheet: Giant Reed, Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group. 

Phragmites
For complete overview, identification and management:
View full, print-ready factsheet

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Studies, Assessments and Management Plans
A Guide to the Control and Management of Invasive Phragmites
Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment
This document provides phragmites management guidance to land and resources managers.

Assessment Results: Phragmites Australis in Indiana’s Natural Areas
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Invasive Plant Species Assessment Work Group
This assessment analyzes different aspects of phragmites management in Indiana, including: invasion status, ecological impacts of invasion, potential for expansion, difficulty of management, and commercial value.

Clay Township Phragmites Management Plan
Clay Township, St. Clair County, Michigan
This long-term management plan is an example of actions at the local government level to coordinate and improve management and control of invasive phragmites on private property.

Fighting Invasive Phragmites
The Beaver Island Association
This website and video tell the story of a phragmites rapid response initiative on Beaver Island, Michigan, located in northern Lake Michigan.

Meeting the Challenge of Invasive Plants: A Framework for Action
Michigan DNR, Wildlife Division
This document assesses the status of invasive plants in Michigan and outlines a strategy to address their negative impacts to wildlife.

Online factsheet: Phragmites: Common Reed
Cornell University, Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program
Researchers at Cornell University are investigating potential biological control methods for use in phragmites management. Their website also contains information on a free diagnostic service to assist in distinguishing between native and non-native phragmites.

Phragmites Control Plan
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
This document outlines a management plan for phragmites in the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah.

Recommendations: Phragmites Australis in Indiana’s Natural Areas
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Invasive Plant Species Assessment Work Group
This assessment analyzes different aspects of phragmites management in Indiana, including: invasion status, ecological impacts of invasion, potential for expansion, difficulty of management, and commercial value. Recommendations are provided to various government entities and stakeholder groups.

Report: Common Reed
USDA Forest Service Publication FHTET-2002-04
This report summarizes research into natural insect enemies of phragmites and makes recommendations for future work.

Report: Control of Phragmites in a Michigan Great Lakes Marsh
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS
Getsinger, K.D., LS. Nelson, L.A.M. Glomski, E. Kafcas, J. Schafer, S. Kogge, and M. Nurse. 2007. This report presents the results of small- and large-scale invasive phragmites treatment demonstrations, comparing and assessing outcomes from different treatment regimes and providing recommendations.

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U.S. and Canadian Federal Resources
Fact sheet: General Information on Phragmites
Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group
This fact sheet includes an illustrated guide for distinguishing native and alien phragmites species.

GRIN Taxonomy for Plants: Phragmites australis
USDA Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area - Germplasm Resources Information Network

Online factsheet: Common reed, Phragmites australis
Environment Canada

Phragmites australis
USDA Forest Service, Fire Effects Information System

Phragmites australis Article Citation Search
USDA National Agricultural Library - AGRICOLA Database

PLANTS Profile: Phragmites australis (common reed)
United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service

Species Profile: Common Reed
U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Invasive Species Information Center

Training Module: Managing Invasive Plants: Concepts, Principles, and Practices
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuge System
This training module for USFWS staff contains excellent information on formulating invasive plant management plans, the importance of assessments and monitoring in invasive plant management, and commonly-used management and control techniques.


 
State and Provincial Resources
Control and Management of Invasive Phragmites
Michigan DEQ

Factsheet: Common/Giant Reed
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Invasive Plant Species Fact Sheet: Common Reed (Phragmites australis)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Invasive Plant Species Assessment Work Group

Invasive Plants of Ohio: Common reed grass
Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Online factsheet: Common Reed (Phragmites australis)
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Exotic Aquatics on the Move

Online factsheet: Common reed: Phragmites australis
Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources

Online factsheet: Phragmites (Phragmites australis)
Michigan Invasive Species Information Network

Online factsheet: Phragmites australis (Common reed grass)
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Watershed Management

The Common Reed (Phragmites Australis): A Threat to Quebec’s Wetlands?
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Report prepared for the Government of Quebec’s Interministerial Committee on the Common Reed and for Ducks Unlimited Canada

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Updated: May 27, 2015
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