Study

Biomass harvest of invasive Typha promotes plant diversity in a Great Lakes coastal wetland: harvesting Typha promotes plant diversity

  • Published source details Lishawa S.C., Lawrence B.A., Albert D.A. & Tuchman N.C. (2015) Biomass harvest of invasive Typha promotes plant diversity in a Great Lakes coastal wetland: harvesting Typha promotes plant diversity. Restoration Ecology, 23, 228-237.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Physically remove problematic plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Use cutting/mowing to control problematic herbaceous plants: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Physically remove problematic plants: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 2011–2013 in a freshwater marsh invaded by hybrid cattail Typha x glauca in Michigan, USA (Lishawa et al. 2015) found that physically removing the cattail-dominated vegetation changed the plant community composition and increased plant species richness and diversity. In the two years following vegetation removal, the overall plant community composition significantly differed between cleared and uncleared plots (data reported as a graphical analysis). Cleared plots had lower relative cover of hybrid cattail (cleared: 21–26%; uncleared: 87% of total cover). They also contained less hybrid cattail biomass (cleared: 29–51; uncleared: 500–700 g/m2). In both years, cleared plots contained more plant species (cleared: 13–14; uncleared: 8 species/16 m2) and had greater plant diversity (reported as a diversity index). Before intervention, plots destined for each treatment contained statistically similar plant communities with similar relative cover of cattail (84–87%), cattail biomass (data not reported), species richness (5–7 species/16 m2) and diversity. Methods: Sixteen 4-m2 plots were established in two areas of a freshwater marsh that had been invaded by hybrid cattail (one for >30 years, one for <20 years). In August 2011, vegetation was removed from eight plots (four random plots/area): vegetation was cut and removed, then rhizomes (underground horizontal stems) were dug up and removed. No vegetation was removed from the other eight plots. Roots and rhizomes were cut around the edge of each plot. Vegetation was surveyed in July before (2011) and for two years after (2012–2013) intervention. Dry above-ground biomass was estimated, after intervention only, from the height of cattail stems.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Use cutting/mowing to control problematic herbaceous plants: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 2011–2013 in a freshwater marsh dominated by hybrid cattail Typha x glauca in Michigan, USA (Lishawa et al. 2015) found that cutting the cattail-dominated vegetation changed the plant community composition and increased plant species richness and diversity. In the two years following cutting, the overall plant community composition significantly differed between cut and uncut plots (data reported as a graphical analysis). After two years (but not one), cut plots contained more plant species than uncut plots (14 vs 8 species/16 m2) and had greater plant diversity (reported as a diversity index). At this time, hybrid cattail was also less dominant in cut than uncut plots (63 vs 87% of total cover). After one year (but not two), cut plots contained less above-ground cattail biomass than uncut plots (280 vs 700 g/m2). Before intervention, plots destined for each treatment contained statistically similar plant communities with similar species richness (5–7 species/16 m2), diversity, cattail relative cover (85–87%), and cattail biomass (data not reported). Methods: Sixteen 4-m2 plots were established in two areas of a freshwater marsh that had been invaded by hybrid cattail (one for >30 years, one for <20 years). In August 2011, all vegetation was cut at ground level in eight plots (four random plots/area). Cuttings were removed. No vegetation was cut in the other eight plots. Roots and rhizomes (underground horizontal stems) were cut around the edge of each plot. Vegetation was surveyed in July before (2011) and for two years after (2012–2013) intervention. Above-ground dry biomass was estimated, after intervention only, from the height of cattail stems.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust