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.
Cattail Invasion of Sedge Meadows Following Hydrologic Disturbance in the Cowles Bog Wetland Complex, Indiana Dunes National LakeshoreWilcox, Douglas A.; Apfelbaum, Steven I.; Hiebert, Ronald D.; Applied Ecological Services; The College at Brockport (1984-12-01)The vegetation of the 80.7 hectare Cowles Bog Wetland Complex has been altered from its historic mixed sedge-grass domination (Carex stricta, Calamagrostis canadensis) in lower areas and woody growth in slightly elevated areas , as based on archival aerial photographs from 1938-1982 and recent field data. Cattails (Typha spp.) were present in 1938 and made minor gains in cover through 1970. However, the major invasion of cattails appears to be associated with stabilized, increased water levels caused by seepage from diked ponds constructed upgradient from the wetland in the early 1970s. The water level increases are assumed to have been of a magnitude which adversely affected the sedge-grass community but did not preclude cattail growth. The cattail vegetation type increased in cover from 2.0 ha in 1938 to 9.7 ha in 1970 to 37.5 ha in 1982. The sedge-grass vegetation type correspondingly decreased from 56.4 ha to 43.0 ha to 5.7 ha. Cattail invasion appears to have occurred through establishment of disjunct colonies by seed reproduction; followed by vegetative expansion and merging of the colonies.