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Phragmites Control Research

Phragmites australis in the Chesapeake Bay and Utah
Phragmites control research being conducted on the Refuge

Phragmites Control Research 

The non-native grass Phragmites occupies a large portion of the refuge and presents a daunting task for eventual control. Traditional control methods have involved prescribed burning followed by a late summer/early fall treatment with an herbicide. This sequence has had limited results often due to the inability to successfully burn in a timely manner. Also fall herbicide treatments may kill the existing plants but do little to control any germination from the seeds that have been dropped. 

Dr. Karin Kettenring and graduate students at Utah State University have embarked on research projects looking at other treatment methods, for example, spring mowing to reduce seed production followed by spraying. Several research plots have been established in Unit 3 on the Refuge and also at other areas around the Great Salt Lake such as Utah Division of Wildlife management areas. 

The overall goal of these projects is to provide more tools, besides the traditional methods, to combat the spread and reduce the area of Phragmites coverage on the Refuge and Great Salt Lake wetlands. 

For more information on this research see Dr. Kettenring’s Phragmites australis in Utah web page.

Facts About Phragmites Control Research

Phragmites is one of several invasive plant species that threatens the health of Refuge wetlands and habitat, and research and monitoring on the species can help not only Bear River, but wetlands across the country to more efficiently try and combat this non-native invader.
Last Updated: Dec 03, 2012
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