Phragmites - An Invasive Species That Threatens The Wetlands and Shorelines Of America
Phragmites is a tall growing European grass that is growing invasively in the American ecosystem. Once it starts to grow, it is extremely hard to get rid of. This is due to the deep and strong roots system that grows from this invasive species.
Phragmites is especially dangerous for the great lakes area as they grow in wetlands and on the sand dunes of Lake Michigan. It will take over an entire ecosystem and can potentially kill off the animals and other plant life of the area.
Michigan DEQ Warns About Phragmites
Control and Management of Invasive Phragmites
Phragmites australis (frag-MY-teez), also known as common reed, is a perennial, wetland grass that can grow to 15 feet in height. While Phragmites australis is native to MIchigan, an invasive, non-native, variety of phragmites is becoming widespread and is threatening the ecological health of wetlands and the Great Lakes coastal shoreline. Invasive phragmites creates tall, dense stands which degrade wetlands and coastal areas by crowding out native plants and animals, blocking shoreline views, reducing access for swimming, fishing, and hunting and can create fire hazards from dry plant material.
Phragmites can be controlled using an integrated pest management approach which includes an initial herbicide treatment followed by mechanical removal (e.g., cutting, mowing) and annual maintenance. For large areas with dense stands of phragmites, prescribed burning used after herbicide treatment can provide additional control and ecological benefits over mechanical removal. Early detection is key to preventing large dense stands and is also more cost efficient.
Read more about their suggestions on what you can do to fight this problem.