Management and Control of Reed Canary Grass in Restored Wetlands

Principal Investigator(s):

Susan Galatowitsch, Professor, Horticultural Science

Project summary:

Wetland restoration projects in Minnesota (and the Midwest) often fail as a result of reed canary grass domination. Reed canary grass is dominant on many pre-restoration sites, and even after site hydrology is restored, reed canary grass continues as the dominant species. Unless a wetland is being restored to serve primarily as a wastewater processing or stormwater detention facility, a monoculture of reed canary grass is not a desirable condition. For other species to establish on a restoration site, effective site preparation strategies are needed to control reed canary grass prior to restoring site hydrology. Mowing and grazing are ineffective at reducing reed canary grass populations. Some success has been achieved with a combination of repeated controlled burns or disking and herbicide treatments. We propose to collect information about reed canary grass control methods by conducting a phone survey of resource managers. We will use this information to develop potentially successful control methods, which will then be applied to test plots in a field experiment. To account for variables that we are unable to control in the field, greenhouse experiments will be used. The final product of this research will be best management practices for reed canary grass management and control in wetland restoration sites.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2001007
  • Start date: 07/2000
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Environment