Baseline Common Reed extent in selected Lake Ontario coastal wetlands


Aquatic Ecosystem Health

Project Description

Common reed (Phragmites australis) is an exotic invasive plant that has colonized extensive portions of Great Lakes coastal wetlands and shorelines and is less prominent in Lake Ontario – with some speculation this may be related to water-level regulation. This study will provide insights into the association between water-level regulation and the extent of common reed in Lake Ontario coastal wetlands. This study will consider two main categories of Lake Ontario coastal wetlands : 1. Wetland influenced directly by water-level regulation (i.e., permanent surface-water connection with the lake) and 2. Wetlands not directly influenced by water-level regulation (i.e., wetlands on the coast without a permanent surface-water connection with the lake; e.g., permanent or dynamic barrier beaches, diked wetlands). The extent of common reed will be mapped in selected wetlands within each category. If common reed is less extensive in wetlands with a permanent surface water connection to the lake, this may indicate that regulation has contributed to resisting the establishment and expansion of common reed.