Implementing biological control of introduced Phragmites australis in Ontario

Introduced Phragmites australis (common reed) is considered one of the most invasive plants in North America. European genotypes spread widely and can form dense stands with undesirable ecological impacts. Conventional management approaches have proved largely ineffective, leaving classical biocontrol (i.e., introducing herbivores of the plant from its native range) as the most promising alternative. The goal of this project is to partner with Ducks Unlimited Canada to survey 23 locations around Ontario as candidates for the release of the moths Lenisa (Archanara) geminipuncta and Archanara neurica to manage populations of introduced P. australis. Field surveys will document populations of P. australis and collect habitat data to help determine which sites should be used for initial biocontrol releases. Ducks Unlimited Canada will receive up-to-date data about this invasive plant on their properties and will get to participate in the first Canadian biocontrol program for P. australis.

Michael McTavish
Faculty Supervisor: 
Sandy Smith;Rob Bourchier
Partner University: