Typha (cattail) invasion in North American wetlands: biology, regional problems, impacts, ecosystem services, and management.
Typha is an iconic wetland plant found worldwide. Hybridization and anthropogenic disturbances have resulted in large increases in Typha abundance in wetland ecosystems throughout North America at a cost to native floral and faunal biodiversity. As demonstrated by three regional case studies, Typha is capable of rapidly colonizing habitats and forming monodominant vegetation stands due to traits such as robust size, rapid growth rate, and rhizomatic expansion. Increased nutrient inputs into wetlands and altered hydrologic regimes are among the principal anthropogenic drivers of Typha invasion. Typha is associated with a wide range of negative ecological impacts to wetland and agricultural systems, but also is linked with a variety of ecosystem services such as bioremediation and provisioning of biomass, as well as an assortment of traditional cultural uses. Numerous physical, chemical, and hydrologic control methods are used to manage invasive Typha, but results are inconsistent and multiple methods and repeated treatments often are required. While this review focuses on invasive Typha in North America, the literature cited comes from research on Typha and other invasive species from around the world. As such, many of the underlying concepts in this review are relevant to invasive species in other wetland ecosystems worldwide.