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Phragmites Invasions Harm Riparian Ecology
Michigan has many areas where fires or flooding are an ongoing concern. The introduction of Phragmites and similar non-native invasive plants can increase those risks. The unchecked growth of invasive plants may change how water drains, drying out wetlands and creating situations for local flooding. This can create the potential for fire hazards, especially in the spring where last year’s dead and dry growth is still standing.

Phragmites often grow so densely that they can change the local hydrology. Photo one shows Phragmites growing in a roadside drainage ditch. The Phragmites grew so thickly that they blocked the drainage culvert, causing rain to flood over the road. The county road commission mowed the roadside and cleared the drainage ditch and reopened the drain pipes. This maintenance is expensive, (plus it diverts road maintenance funds), and only solves the problem for a short time. The remaining Phragmites will regrow rapidly and block the culvert again.


 
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