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Invasive Phragmites
What is invasive phragmites?

Invasive phragmites or common reed is a tall, perennial grass that aggressively colonizes and forms dense stands in freshwater wetlands. It is found throughout North America, but is most common along the east coast of the US and in the Great Lakes region. In Wisconsin, invasive phragmites can be found along shorelines of lakes, exposed lake beds, marshes, streams, swamps, rivers, roadside ditches, heavily disturbed sites and other low, wet areas. Invasive phragmites harms the environment by reducing wildlife habitats, decreasing plant diversity, and altering water levels by trapping sediments. In addition, invasive phragmites can be a fire hazard. Stands along roadsides can obstruct the view of drivers, leading to automobile accidents, and stands along shorelines can reduce property values by blocking lake views, and restricting access for swimming, fishing and hunting. Invasive phragmites is a subspecies of a Eurasian form of the grass (known as “haplotype M”) that is believed to have been accidentally introduced into North America in the early 19th century. A native phragmites (Phragmites australis subsp. americanus) once grew abundantly in North America, but currently is rare because it has been displaced by invasive phragmites.



 
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