Invaders in the park: phragmites

You’ve likely passed this plant while exploring a park or even while driving on the highway. But did you recognize this invasive species?

There are many ways Phragmites take over ecosystems, including:

  • its fast-growing spread, crowding out native vegetation
  • its ability to out-compete native species for nutrients and water
  • its ability to release toxins that kill off surrounding plants

Phragmites does not provide a good habitat for most wildlife, including many species at risk. So if phragmites takes over a natural space, what happens to the plants and animals living there?

Wetland ecologist Dr. Janice Gilbert explains why phragmites is a big problem for Ontario, and outlines her strategies for wetlands restoration projects:

Read more about phragmites here.