Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF)

Non-native Phragmites is a large-scale problem but we lack a one-size-fits-all approach to controlling it. Different habitat characteristics and other site-specific factors mean that treatment approaches do not always work the same way on every patch. This is a problem when so much time and so many resources are invested in Phragmites control each year and there is no shared system to measure and track results in the Great Lakes basin.

Watch this three-minute video summary of PAMF! 

Video transcript and information on the U.S. Geological Survey website

Adaptive management can help

The Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF) is a long-term shift in management strategy that will, over time, refine and improve best management practices for controlling Phragmites in different site conditions throughout the Great Lakes basin.

PAMF has three critical pieces: a monitoring protocol, models that predict how Phragmites will respond to different treatments, and a central database where the results from all management efforts by participants are reported.

Specifically, PAMF participants will:

  1. Use a standardized and scalable monitoring protocol to assess the effectiveness of their control efforts.
  2. Submit their monitoring data into a centralized database. These data are used to periodically update condition-based models so management guidance can be improved over time based on learning that occurs from on-the-ground results.
  3. Consider management guidance provided by the updated models when deciding what management action to carry out next.

The key to PAMF’s success is long-term and widespread participation by you – our partners – from around the Great Lakes basin, enabling continued improvement on Phragmites management methods.

How do we use the term ‘adaptive management’?

Adaptive management is commonly used to refer to a method of management that involves planning, implementing and evaluating management activities and making predictions about how we expect a resource to respond to our management efforts.

We use adaptive management when we need to make repeated management decisions over time because this gives us the opportunity to learn from our results and improve our predictive capabilities.

This definition of adaptive management is used by the U.S. Department of Interior and is based on the fundamentals of decision science. A large-scale effort like PAMF benefits from many management activities taking place around the Great Lakes basin, making the learning process quicker and more efficient. This means that management guidance is constantly improving and helping us achieve desired outcomes.

More Information

Watch this page for more information about PAMF! In the meantime, email us at, read our recent blog post, or check out the handouts below:

Contact Us

Join the discussion on our listserv