Tools to distinguish native from exotic reed canarygrass
Neil Anderson, Horticultural Science
This project used genetic techniques to find that most reed canarygrass in Minnesota is native to the state and not from Europe. Plant DNA was extracted from samples of reed canarygrass across the state. Due to this outcome, Tribal and State managers may choose to manage or preserve this species differently.
Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) is a plant with a complex local history. It poses a major threat to wetland diversity in the state, and for that reason many land managers choose to undergo the expensive and difficult process of removing large stands. But it is still sometimes planted for revegetation programs, and varieties of the grass have been cultivated as a forage crop for the past century. Reed canarygrass may also have been used by early Native Americans for traditional weaving, making them culturally important.
This project established a reliable genetic basis for differentiating between varieties of reed canarygrass. Specifically, MITPPC scientists developed a hand-held molecular testing tool that can be used in the field by managers. This hand-held field genotyping technology may be useful for other plant models, like Palmer amaranth, in future work.
- Where are Minnesota reed canary grass populations native or exotic?
- How can the native vs. exotic status of reed canary grass be tested by a hand-held device in the field?
Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Neil O. Anderson, principal investigator
Andrzej Noyszewski, post-doctoral associate
News & Publications
- Management and Control Issues for Native, Invasive Species (Reed Canarygrass): Evaluating Philosophical, Management, and Legislative Issues (American Society for Horticulture Science, 2021)
- Riparian populations of Minnesota reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) are most likely native, based on SNPs (DArTseqLD) (Wetlands Ecology and Management volume, 2021)
- Challenges of Establishing Native versus Exotic Status of Herbarium Specimens(American Society for Horticulture Science, 2019)
- Throwing Out the Bathwater but Keeping the Baby: Lessons Learned from Purple Loosestrife and Reed Canarygrass (American Society for Horticulture Science, 2019)
- Genetic diversity of phalaris arundinacea populations in relation to river regulation in the Merkys basin, Lithuania (River Research and Applications, 2018)