The Nativity and Distribution of the Cryptic Invader Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canarygrass) in Riparian Areas of the Columbia and Missouri River Basins

Abstract

Cryptic invaders are inherently difficult to study due to morphological similarity with native lineages of the same species or genus. Wetland and riparian systems are particularly prone to plant invasions, and have been impacted by a number of widespread cryptic invaders such as Phalaris arundinacea (reed canarygrass). Here we combine molecular genetic analyses with species distribution modeling to assess the nativity of Phalaris and determine potential drivers of non-native Phalaris invasion in riparian areas across a large region of the semiarid northwestern USA. Based on our genetic analyses, we found that throughout our study region Phalaris is largely non-native, and no modern-day samples from our study region were of native North American origin. At least half of the four species distribution models suggested that non-native Phalaris invasion across the region was associated with warmer temperatures, more growing days, wetter summers, drier winters, higher nitrogen levels, shallower stream slopes, and at sites closer to roads and without a history of grazing. These findings can be used to determine the best locations for targeted monitoring. Furthermore, there is the potential for increased Phalaris invasion with climate change-induced temperature increases.

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Acknowledgements

A. Jakubowski provided Phalaris samples and advice on running genetic analysis that was extremely important to this research. M. Barkworth at the Intermountain Herbarium and J. Solomon and M. Merello at the Missouri Botanical Garden provided access to specimens for sampling. M. Petru, J Raabova, and M. Duchacek provided herbarium samples from the Czech Republic. Thanks to J. Olson, R. Hill, C. Laine, R. Lokteff, A. Hill, P. Ebertowski, S. Galatowitsch, E. Archer, and especially B. Roper for data support and project feedback. We are also grateful to S. Bardot, who conducted the laboratory genetic analyses. Constructive advice from members of the Hawkins Lab at USU led to manuscript improvement. Funding was provided by the S.J. Quinney Masters Fellowship at Utah State University to DRM and the USDA Forest Service to KMK.

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Correspondence to Karin M. Kettenring.

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Appendix

S1 Details of model methods used (DOCX 23 kb)

Fig. S1

Summary of STRUCTURE HARVESTER results following STRUCTURE analysis of genetic data, using a burn-in period of 200,000 iterations and a sampling period of 400,000 iterations, with an admixture model (DOCX 115 kb)

Fig. S2

Partial dependence plots for variables in the final random forest model of Phalaris arundinacea presence (PDF 444 kb)

Fig. S3

Partial dependence plots for variables in the final boosted trees model of Phalaris arundinacea presence (PDF 328 kb)

Table S1

(DOCX 13 kb)

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Kettenring, K.M., Menuz, D.R. & Mock, K.E. The Nativity and Distribution of the Cryptic Invader Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canarygrass) in Riparian Areas of the Columbia and Missouri River Basins. Wetlands 39, 55–66 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-018-1074-x

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Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Dispersal
  • Genetics
  • Invasive species
  • Nitrogen
  • Species distribution modeling