2011: The Common Reed, major invader of brackish wetlands

The non-native genotype of Common Reed (Phragmites australis) that has become a major invader of brackish wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay region and elsewhere throughout North America
Kaylee Weil

Kaylee Weil

Timothy Dwight College

Class of 2012

This summer, I was working at Assateague Island National Seashore in the Natural Resource Management department. During my time there, I put together an independent research project focused on Phragmites australis, a non-native highly invasive species. The Phragmites population has dramatically increased in recent years, displacing less resilient native plant communities and having an adverse effect on various habitats. My goal was to analyze the early stage growth of Phragmites when coupled with two different shrubs, one nitrogen-fixing and one non-nitrogen
fixing. The objective of my project was to determine if Morella cerifera (a nitrogen-fixing shrub) has a positive effect on Phragmites australis in early stage growth. The idea was that if we could determine what the positive growth factors were in the field, we could develop a more effective plan for eradication or at least control.

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