Effects of experimental harvesting of an invasive hybrid cattail on wetland structure and function

TitleEffects of experimental harvesting of an invasive hybrid cattail on wetland structure and function
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKeyport S, Carson BD, Johnson O, Lawrence BA, Lishawa SC, Tuchman NC, Kelly JJ
JournalRestoration Ecology
Date PublishedJan-08-2019
Keywordsbacteria, community, Invasive species, RESTORATION, Typha×glauca, wetland

Invasive plants, such as the hybrid cattail Typha × glauca, can reduce biodiversity and alter the ability of wetlands to provide critical ecosystem services, including nutrient cycling and carbon storage. Several approaches have been used to reduce Typha dominance and restore invaded wetlands, but long‐term studies assessing benefits of these restoration efforts are limited. A previous study demonstrated that aboveground harvesting of Typha × glauca stems and litter reduced Typha dominance 2 years post‐treatment in a Great Lakes coastal wetland. In the current study, we extended monitoring of experimental aboveground Typha harvest to 4 years post‐treatment and added assessments of treatment effects on soil nutrients, carbon emissions, and microbial community composition. Aboveground harvest treatment resulted in a dramatic reduction in Typha litter cover that persisted for 4 years, increased soil temperature, and increased abundance of the native plant genus Carex. However, aboveground harvest treatment did not significantly reduce Typha abundance, nor did it have significant effects on soil nutrient concentrations, carbon fluxes, or the taxonomic composition of soil microbial communities. We did observe differences in bacterial community composition between plots based on time since Typha invasion, which may indicate some legacy effects of Typha invasion. At the scale of this experiment (4 × 4 m plots), our results indicate that a single aboveground removal of Typha × glauca is not sufficient to restore a heavily invaded freshwater wetland ecosystem, and that periodic harvesting of Typha stems and litter may be required to maintain native plant abundance.

Short TitleRestor Ecol
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