DUC Conservator: Fighting the Mighty Phragmites (archive)
Published on Wednesday March 16, 2016
Authored by PEIISC
Jana, our Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) representative, sent along this story today from Conservator, DUC’s magazine. The article is from Ontario but there are known populations of phragmites on PEI too.
At our first annual public meeting tomorrow, we will hear from PEIISC member, Rosemary Curley, on the work she has been doing to determine if our Island phragmites stands are the native species or the introduced invasive species.
“Unlike native Phragmites, the invasive species grows in thick stands called monocultures that out-compete native vegetation and provide little habitat to support waterfowl or wildlife, such as the threatened and endangered Blanding’s turtles and Fowler’s toads found in the Long Point area.
Invasive Phragmites stalks can grow up to five metres high. Their vine-like stolens creep across the surface of water and land, reaching as far as 27 metres in a single year. There is some evidence that the roots may release a chemical that stunts the growth of surrounding plant species.”