Study

Production of mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus): response in marshes treated for common reed (Phragmites australis) removal

  • Published source details Hagan S.M., Brown S.A. & Able K.W. (2007) Production of mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus): response in marshes treated for common reed (Phragmites australis) removal. Wetlands, 27, 54-67.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use herbicide to control problematic plants: brackish/salt marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Use prescribed fire to control problematic plants: brackish/salt marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Use herbicide to control problematic plants: brackish/salt marshes

    A site comparison study in 2004 of three brackish marshes in an estuary in New Jersey, USA (Hagan et al. 2007) found that spraying herbicide (along with prescribed burning) converted a marsh dominated by common reed Phragmites australis to one dominated by smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora, with similar cordgrass abundance and height to a natural marsh, but more plant species. After nine years of herbicide application and three years of burning, the treated marsh was statistically similar to a nearby natural marsh in terms of cordgrass dominance (treated: 78%; natural: 83% of stems were smooth cordgrass), cordgrass density (treated: 286; natural: 360 stems/m2), above-ground cordgrass biomass (treated: 457; natural: 802 g/m2) and cordgrass height (treated: 78; natural: 94 cm). However, the treated marsh contained six plant species, including common reed, whilst the natural marsh contained only three. A third, untreated marsh was still dominated by common reed (100% of stems; density: 80 stems/m2; biomass: 2,124 g/m2; height: 317 cm; no other plant species). Methods: In August 2004, vegetation was surveyed in three tidal brackish marshes. One marsh was formerly dominated by common reed, but had been sprayed with herbicide (Rodeo®) since 1996 and burned in 1996–1998. The study does not distinguish between the effects of these interventions. The second, natural marsh was dominated by smooth cordgrass. The third marsh was dominated by common reed and had not been treated. In each marsh, vegetation was clipped from six 0.25 x 0.25 m quadrats then identified, measured, dried and weighed.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Use prescribed fire to control problematic plants: brackish/salt marshes

    A site comparison study in 2004 of three brackish marshes in an estuary in New Jersey, USA (Hagan et al. 2007) found that prescribed burning (along with applying herbicide) converted a marsh dominated by common reed Phragmites australis to one dominated by smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora, with similar cordgrass abundance and height to a natural marsh, but more plant species. After three years of burning and nine years of herbicide application, the treated marsh was statistically similar to a nearby natural marsh in terms of cordgrass dominance (treated: 78%; natural: 83% of stems were smooth cordgrass), density (treated: 286; natural: 360 stems/m2), above-ground biomass (treated: 457; natural: 802 g/m2) and height (treated: 78; natural: 94 cm). However, the treated marsh contained six plant species, including common reed, whilst the natural marsh contained only three. A third, untreated marsh was still dominated by common reed (100% of stems; density: 80 stems/m2; biomass: 2,124 g/m2; height: 317 cm; no other plant species). Methods: In August 2004, vegetation was surveyed in three tidal brackish marshes. One marsh was formerly dominated by common reed, but had been burned in 1996–1998 and sprayed with herbicide in 1996–2004. The study does not distinguish between the effects of these interventions. The second, natural marsh was dominated by smooth cordgrass. The third marsh was dominated by common reed and had not been treated. In each marsh, vegetation was clipped from six 0.25 x 0.25 m quadrats then identified, measured, dried and weighed.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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