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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
Fighting invaders with drones and fungi
Great Lakes Echo (9/30)
When the question is “where aren’t phragmites”, conservationists have to think outside the box to tackle the invasive plant.

Full-scale assault begins on invasive grass in Brown County
WBAY-TV – Green Bay, WI (9/14)
A full-scale assault on phragmites, which has taken over the shorelines and riverbanks of Brown County, Wis., is underway thanks to a federal grant of nearly $1 million.

Phragmites sprayed in Green Bay area
WLUK-TV – Green Bay, WI (8/31)
Crews in Green Bay, Wis., are taking an aggressive approach in battling phragmites, but controlling the tall, thick grass can present a challenge.

Phragmites to be sprayed in Green Bay area
WLUK-TV - Green Bay, WI (8/24)
In Wisconsin, the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission approved a plan to spray about 800 acres of phragmites in areas from Allouez to Green Bay.

Foremost phragmites expert gives talk in Providence Bay
The Manitoulin Expositor (8/12)
An information session was held at the Providence Bay, Ont., community hall with an environmental consultant and a wetland ecologist to speak of the impacts Phragmites are causing and of the solutions to eradicate it.

Wildlife funds helping battle phragmites
Huron Daily Tribune (8/2)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has allocated $33,000 since last summer to eradicate phragmites along the Huron County, Mich., shoreline.

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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. 

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: December 17, 2017
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