Typha (Cattail) Invasion in North American Wetlands: Biology, Regional Problems, Impacts, Ecosystem Services, and Management
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Laurentian Great Lakes
Prairie Pothole Region
Typha × Glauca
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AbstractTypha is an iconic wetland plant found worldwide. Hybridization and anthropogenic disturbances have resulted in large increases in Typha abundance in wetland ecosystems throughout North America at a cost to native floral and faunal biodiversity. As demonstrated by three regional case studies, Typha is capable of rapidly colonizing habitats and forming monodominant vegetation stands due to traits such as robust size, rapid growth rate, and rhizomatic expansion. Increased nutrient inputs into wetlands and altered hydrologic regimes are among the principal anthropogenic drivers of Typha invasion. Typha is associated with a wide range of negative ecological impacts to wetland and agricultural systems, but also is linked with a variety of ecosystem services such as bioremediation and provisioning of biomass, as well as an assortment of traditional cultural uses. Numerous physical, chemical, and hydrologic control methods are used to manage invasive Typha, but results are inconsistent and multiple methods and repeated treatments often are required. While this review focuses on invasive Typha in North America, the literature cited comes from research on Typha and other invasive species from around the world. As such, many of the underlying concepts in this review are relevant to invasive species in other wetland ecosystems worldwide.
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Decomposition Rates of Typha Spp. in Northern Freshwater Wetlands over a Stream-Marsh-Peatland GradientRuppel, Rachel; Setty, Karen; Wu, Meiyin (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2004)Decomposition rates in wetlands vary with the composition of the biotic community and the physical and chemical environment. Variations in the process of decomposition in turn affect the overall rate of nutrient cycling within the wetland, affecting both primary productivity and general wetland health. This short-term study took place in northern New York within the Little Chazy River watershed. The effects of wetland factors including nutrient status, dissolved oxygen, and pH value on decay rate were measured over a freshwater stream-marsh-peatland gradient. Litterbags were utilized and collected weekly from three separate sites within or near the Altona Flat Rock ecosystem. Soil and water parameters, as well as colonization by macroinvertebrates, were studied in order to link decay rates with specific wetland characteristics. Decomposition rates for Typha spp. were evaluated using the change in dry biomass, and percent nitrogen content of the plant litter. Dry biomass reduction took place most rapidly in the stream site and least rapidly in the peatland site, while fluctuations of percent nitrogen content did not show a distinct trend. A high level of dissolved oxygen corresponded to a higher decay rate, while a low pH value corresponded to a lower decay rate.
Typha Latifolia versus Phragmites Australis.Cross, Michael A. (2014)Phragmites australis and Typha latifolia rhizomes were planted in a factorial experiment under a number of intra- and inter-specific competition scenarios, two salinities and three moisture levels. Typha rhizome mortality was 100% and Phragmites rhizome mortality was 64%. Phragmites plants were not significantly different in final height or biomass across density, salinity or moisture treatments. Typha rhizomes were planted into Phragmites patches with five and monitored for two seasons. At Bonita Swamp all of the Typha rhizomes survived and sprouted. There were no clear differences in Typha cover, density or height between treatments. At Presque Isle all of the rhizomes in the Phragmites removal treatments sprouted but the rhizomes did not sprout in the plots without Phragmites removal At Tifft none of the Typha rhizomes sprouted. Also, at these three wetlands plots were monitored at the boundary between Phragmites and Typha patches and monitored for two years. Over that time little spread of the species occurred. The short duration of field observations renders conclusions difficult to make but the results do support the possibility that Typha rhizomes can be planted into Phragmites patches as part of a restoration project.
Methods for restoring sedge/grass meadow community in a Typha-invaded Lake Ontario drowned-river-mouth wetlandWilcox, Douglas A.; Buckler, Kathleen; The College at Brockport (2017-01-19)Water-level regulation has resulted in vegetation changes in Lake Ontario coastal wetlands. The vegetation has shifted from structurally complex sedge/grass meadow communities to communities dominated by invasive Typha, specifically the hybrid cattail Typha x glauca. This study aims to identify control techniques for Typha x glauca to be used in wetlands hydrologically connected to Lake Ontario. The tested control techniques were implemented in a Lake Ontario drowned river-mouth wetland in 2010 and 2011 and were administered along the active invasion zone between a dense Typha stand and remaining sedge/grass meadow. Multiple physical and chemical treatment techniques were implemented over a two-year period at Kents Creek, in northern New York. Treatments included cutting (C), spraying (S) glyphosate (Rodeo) onto cut stalks, and wicking (W) cattail re-sprouts with glyphosate later in the growing season (August). Each treatment method had the following year options: the cut, spray, and wick treatments were applied in year 1 or in both years 1 and 2 (C1S1W1 or C12S12W12). All possible treatments yielded 12 treatment combinations, plus two control plots. Each treatment option was randomly assigned within each of five treatment replicates. All five treatment replicates were located in the invasion zone that had ~25% cover invading Typha and ~75% remaining sedge/grass meadow community. Vegetation sampling occurred in early summer (late June) and again in late summer (August) before treatment in both years. Cattail stem counts and species percent cover data were collected to analyze the effects of each treatment combination. Environmental variables (soil moisture, sediment depth, water-table elevation, soil organic matter, and bulk density) were measured to assist in explaining treatment success or failure and to assess differences among replicates. In addition to looking at the effects that the treatments had on reducing Typha stem density and percent cover, I assessed whether the treatments had an effect on the growth and expansion of existing sedge/grass meadow species, specifically Calamagrostis canadensis and Carex lacustris. Vegetation was sampled again in August 2012 following one full growing season after the second year treatments were applied. Seven treatment combinations: C12, C12W12, C12S, C12SW1, C1W1, C1W12, and C1SW12 significantly reduced cattail stem counts from June 2010 to August 2012. The wick (W) treatment, which was applied to the re-sprouted cattail stems in late August, was the most important treatment, when combined with other treatments (cutting and spraying). Five treatment combinations: C1SW12, C12W12, C12S, C1W12, and C12W1significantly reduced cattail percent cover from June 2010 to August 2012. Although application of the wick treatment in August was the most successful treatment method, the addition of other treatments earlier in the growing season increased Typha stress and led to increased reductions in Typha stems and percent cover. The success of cattails is strongly correlated with stable, high water levels that increase soil moisture. Four of the five replicates were statistically similar in terms of soil moisture throughout the study. Replicate 5 had significantly drier oils than the remaining replicates and had substantially fewer initial Typha stems and lower percent cover, which led to slightly different results in this replicate. For management practices, I suggest using the early summer cutting and late summer wicking treatments, as these two treatments (in combination) were the most effective at reducing Typha stems and percent cover.