Invasion biology research, often performed by scientists at relatively small spatial scales, provides experimental precision but may be limited in generalizability. Conversely, large-scale invasive species management represents a largely untapped wealth of information on invasion ecology and management, but such data are difficult to capture and synthesize. We developed a network (“PhragNet”) of individuals managing wetlands occupied by native and non-native lineages of the invasive wetland grass Phragmites australis (common reed). This network collected environmental and genetic samples, habitat data, and management information to identify environmental and plant community associations of Phragmites invasion and patterns of management responses. Fifty managers overseeing 209 Phragmites stands in 16 US states and ON, Canada participated. Participants represented federal agencies (26%), municipalities (20%), NGOs (20%), academia (14%), state agencies (12%), and private landowners (8%). Relative to the native lineage, non-native Phragmites occurred in areas with higher nitrate/nitrite and ammonium than non-native Phragmites. Stand interiors had higher soil electrical conductivity than nearby uninvaded areas, consistent with use of road salt promoting spread of Phragmites. Non-native Phragmites co-occurred with fewer plant species than native Phragmites and was actively targeted for management. Herbicide was applied to 51% of non-native stands; surprisingly, 11% of native stands were also treated with herbicide. This project demonstrates the utility of crowdsourcing standardized data from resource managers. We conclude by describing how this approach could be expanded into an adaptive management framework, strengthening connections between wetland management and research.
Habitat management Herbicide Invasive species Nutrients Salinity Wetlands
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access
This research was supported by funding from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. The authors thank the many natural resource managers who participated in this project, and Clément Kouyoumdjian, John M. Keller, and Anna Braum for help with field work, laboratory analyses, and data management. Joel Brown and two anonymous reviewers provided helpful input on the manuscript.
This research was supported by funding from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant; Award Number 2010-02247-01.
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 459 kb) Data collection forms and protocol for PhragNet
Able KW, Hagan SM (2000) Effects of common reed (Phragmites australis) invasion on marsh surface macrofauna: response of fishes and decapod crustaceans. Estuaries Coasts 23:633–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bates D, Maechler M, Bolker B, et al (2015) Package “lme4”. r-project.org
Ehrenfeld JG (2003) Effects of exotic plant invasions on soil nutrient cycling processes. Ecosystems 6:503–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fant JB, Price AL, Larkin DJ (2016) The influence of habitat disturbance on genetic structure and reproductive strategies within stands of native and non-native Phragmites australis (common reed). Divers Distrib 22:1301–1313. doi:10.1111/ddi.12492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Minchinton TE, Bertness MD (2003) Disturbance-mediated competition and the spread of Phragmites australis in a coastal marsh. Ecol Appl 13:1400–1416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mozdzer TJ, Zieman JC, McGlathery KJ (2010) Nitrogen uptake by native and invasive temperate coastal macrophytes: importance of dissolved organic nitrogen. Estuaries Coasts 33:784–797. doi:10.1007/s12237-009-9254-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Price AL, Fant JB, Larkin DJ (2014) Ecology of native vs. introduced Phragmites austrais (common reed) in Chicago-area wetlands. Wetlands 34:369–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ramseur GG (2012) Predicting wetland susceptibility to Phragmites australis: an assessment of environmental conditions in coastal Louisiana with recommendations for wetland management. Thesis, Bard College, Annadale on Hudson, NYGoogle Scholar
R Development Core Team (2009) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
Saltonstall K, Peterson PM, Soreng R (2004) Recognition of Phragmites australis subsp. americanus (Poaceae: Arundinaceae) in North America: evidence from morphological and genetic analyses. SIDA 21:683–692Google Scholar
The National Invasive Species Council (2014) 2014 Invasive species interagency crosscut budget. The National Invasive Species Council, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
Williams BK, Szaro RC, Shapiro CD (2009) Adaptive management: The U.S. Department of the Interior technical guide. Adaptive Management Working Group, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
Windham L, Meyerson LA (2003) Effects of common reed (Phragmites australis) expansions on nitrogen dynamics of tidal marshes of the Northeastern US. Estuaries Coasts 26:452–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wondolleck JM, Yaffee SL (2000) Making collaboration work: lessons from innovation in natural resource management. Island Press, Washington DCGoogle Scholar