Name: Amy Price, Jeremie Fant, and Dan Larkin
Citation: Price, AL, JB Fant, and DJ Larkin. 2014. Ecology of native vs. introduced Phragmites australis (common reed) in Chicago-area wetlands. Wetlands 34:369–377
Link to Paper or Abstract: http://sites.northwestern.edu/larkin/files/2014/08/PriceEtAl2014-PhragEcol-Wetlands-29kodzz.pdf
Motivating question(s) of the research: Do introduced and native lineages of Phragmites exhibit a similar level of invasiveness in Chicago-area wetlands?
Research approach: Wetland plots of native vs. introduced Phragmites were paired with native reference vegetation to compare plant community diversity, composition, and associated environmental conditions.
Key Findings: Introduced Phragmites’ growth was more positively correlated with soil nutrient availability and salinity than native Phragmites. Where introduced Phragmites occurred, plant diversity was lower and community composition was altered relative to reference vegetation. Similar evidence of invasiveness was not observed in native Phragmites.
Management Implications: We recommend that Phragmites populations be differentiated by lineage (using morphological and/or genetic indicators) and, unless there is compelling evidence to do otherwise, control efforts be restricted to the introduced lineage.
Next steps (if applicable): Our research in progress is contrasting patterns of genetic diversity in native vs. introduced Phragmites in the Chicago region and examining patterns of Phragmites distribution and environmental associations at a larger scale in partnership with wetland managers.