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Stories of Progress in Invasive Phragmites Management in Minnesota – May 22

May 22 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am

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Did you know there has been a landscape-scale effort to prevent invasive Phragmites from becoming a major threat to Minnesota habitats for the past four years? Invasive Phragmites (Phragmites australis subsp. australis) is a tall, non-native grass that can dominate wetlands and lakeshores, displace native flora and fauna, and harm recreation, infrastructure, and ecological functioning. Starting in 2017, crowd-sourced reporting and dedicated surveillance revealed a manageable invasion that, with adequate effort, could be reversed.

We partnered with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and many local managers to confront the problem. Now, four years into a carefully coordinated, statewide control effort, partners have largely succeeded in preventing the sprawling invasive Phragmites stands seen in other states. Ongoing efforts have continued to raise awareness and identify new populations. A substantial number of previously treated populations are no longer detectable.

We will also discuss progress toward finding alternatives for wastewater treatment facilities that use invasive Phragmites in their operations, as well as hybridization with native Phragmites.

Concerned individuals can help by learning to identify the plant, avoiding actions that could contribute to its spread, and reporting suspected new populations. With collaboration, attention to detail, and persistence, we can prevent invasive Phragmites from transforming Minnesota lakeshores, wetlands, and other habitats.

The webinar starts at 9 am CT on May 22 and is free, but registration is required.

About the speakers:

Chelsey Blanke is a U of M researcher focused on invasive species and ecological restoration. She and Julia Bohnen work closely with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and many local managers to coordinate the statewide invasive Phragmites control effort. She is driven by a passion for wildlife and a desire to help people help the environment.

Julia Bohnen is involved in research and outreach related to ecological restoration and invasive species management. Her current work involves coordinating with multiple partners in a statewide invasive Phragmites control effort and consulting with wastewater treatment facility operators to transition from using invasive Phragmites for biosolids dewatering. She also co-facilitates a series of five online Ecological Restoration Extension courses.

Dan Larkin is a MAISRC Research Fellow and Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He and his research team work on applied challenges in invasive species management and ecological restoration in lakes, wetlands, and terrestrial habitats. Through his extension program, he trains volunteers and professionals to support invasive species response and ecological restoration efforts.


May 22
9:00 am - 10:00 am


Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Research Center
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