Typha x glauca (hybrid cattail)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Social Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Typha x glauca Godron, 1844
Preferred Common Name
- hybrid cattail
Other Scientific Names
- Typha angustifolia x latifolia Kronfeld
International Common Names
- English: flag; reed-mace
- Spanish: espadaña; tul; tule
- French: massette; quenouilles
- Russian: rogoz
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
T.latifolia and T. angustifolia hybridize to form T. x glauca, a highly productive emergent wetland macrophyte. This species spreads prolifically by rhizomes (often 4 m/year) after seedlings establish in disturbed vegetation, frequently forming monotypes that reduce wetland plant and animal diversity. T. x glauca thrives under eutrophic conditions and artificially prolonged hydroperiods. In North America, the spread of T. x glauca has closely paralleled the westward advance of T. angustifolia from the east coast. Although T. x glauca is present in both Europe and North America, it appears more invasive in the latter continent. T. x glauca could be economically useful; both parental species were eaten throughout Europe and North America, and leaves were used for weaving. In natural areas, either cutting, burning, or grazing, each followed by flooding, or herbicide, can provide short-term Typha control, but re-growth from rhizomes and a vast soil seed-bank complicate eradication.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Monocotyledonae
- Order: Typhales
- Family: Typhaceae
- Genus: Typha
- Species: Typha x glauca
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
Typha is a cosmopolitan genus of emergent wetland macrophytes, containing 8-13 species, and requiring taxonomic revision (Smith, 1987). Typha spp. often hybridize, perpetuating taxonomic confusion. One hybrid in particular is ecologically important because of its potential invasiveness, and has been frequently treated as Typha x glauca Godr. This taxon is a hybrid between T. latifolia L. and T. angustifolia L. The name T. x glauca has been used in Europe since 1844, although the taxon was recognized in North America as T. latifolia var. elongata (Dudley, 1886, cited in Hotchkiss and Dozier, 1949), and was later renamed T. angustifolia L. var. elongata Dudley. Hotchkiss and Dozier (1949) list other synonyms for T. x glauca, including T. angustifolia x latifolia Kronfeld, T. elongata (Dudley) Kronfeld, T. latifolia x angustifolia Figert, T. angustifolia var. longispicata Peck, and T. elongata (Dudley) Durand & Jackson. Common names often refer to multiple species within the genus, as species are morphologically similar in many respects. T. x glauca is often confused with its parental species.
DescriptionTop of page
T. latifolia, T. angustifolia, and T. x glauca are perennial, rhizomatous, emergent wetland macrophytes. Ramets (culms) range from 1-3 m tall, consisting of slender, linear, distichous leaves with sheathing bases, emerging vertically from a central meristem. Ramets often produce a single erect flowering stem consisting of a staminate spike above a pistillate spike. Rhizomes can measure several centimeters in diameter and produce abundant adventitious roots. Smith (1967) distinguished these three Typha species primarily on the basis of pistillate spike characters. Some quantitative macroscopic characters including spike width, gap between pistillate and staminate spikes, and leaf width are useful, but are too variable for conclusive identification, which depends on microscopic floral characteristics. Leaf width, spike length, spike interval, and stigma width provided only 90% identification accuracy when used together to corroborate specimens identified using molecular data (Kuehn and White, 1999).
Plant TypeTop of page Grass / sedge
DistributionTop of page
Because T. x glauca is often confused with its parents, adequately assessing its distribution is difficult. T. x glauca may be present throughout the entire sympatric range of its parental species, including most of Europe (Smith, 1987), although it is most frequently reported in North America. One parent, T. latifolia, is native to North America, Eurasia, and parts of Africa, and it appears to have been naturalized in Australia, and perhaps in South America (USDA-ARS, 2008). T. angustifolia appears to have a similar but slightly restricted distribution due to climatic constraints.). Smith (1987) reports that many or all South-American collections of T. angustifolia and T. latifolia (e.g. Crespo and Pérez-Moreau, 1967) may in fact represent other species or hybrids. Typha’s center of endemism is Eurasia (Smith, 1967).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Germany||Present||CABI (Undated)||Hausdulmener Fischteiche in Northrhine-Westphalia; Original citation: Weyer Kvan de (1996)|
|Netherlands||Present||Native||Oostroom and Reichgelt (1962)|
|Russia||Present||Native||Papchenkov (1993); Mavrodiev (2000)|
|-Central Russia||Present||Native||Papchenkov (1993); Mavrodiev (2000)||Saratov, Tatarstan|
|Sweden||Present||Native||Alm and Weimark (1933)|
|Switzerland||Present||Native||Krattinger et al. (1979)|
|United Kingdom||Present||Native||Lousley and Tutin (1947)|
|Canada||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Manitoba||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-New Brunswick||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Ontario||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Quebec||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Saskatchewan||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|Guatemala||Present||Standley and Steyermark (1958)|
|United States||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Alabama||Present||Invasive||Hotchkiss and Dozier (1949)|
|-Alaska||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Arkansas||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-California||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Colorado||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Connecticut||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Delaware||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Hawaii||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Illinois||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Indiana||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Iowa||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Kentucky||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Maine||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Maryland||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Massachusetts||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Michigan||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Minnesota||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Missouri||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-New Hampshire||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-New Jersey||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-New York||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-North Carolina||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Ohio||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Oregon||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Pennsylvania||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Tennessee||Present||Invasive||Galatowitsch et al. (1999)|
|-Utah||Present||Invasive||Cronquist et al. (1977)|
|-Vermont||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Virginia||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Washington||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-West Virginia||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Wisconsin||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
|-Wyoming||Present||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2008)|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
In North America, T. x glauca has expanded westward from the eastern coast along with T. angustifolia, one parental species; the other parent, T. latifolia, appears to have been historically widespread (Hotchkiss and Dozier, 1949). The lack of early colonial records and collections of T. angustifolia prompted speculation that this species had a European origin (Stuckey and Salamon, 1987). Pollen samples, however, indicate that both T. angustifolia and T. x glauca were present in a New York marsh at A.D. 1200 and 800, respectively (Pederson et al., 2005). Regardless of T. angustifolia’s origin, herbarium data from eastern North America suggest that it expanded westward since 1880, reaching the Midwestern United States by the 1920s, and the Great Plains and scattered western states by 1949 (Hotchkiss and Dozier, 1949; Smith, 1967; Galatowitsch et al., 1999; Shih and Finkelstein, 2008). As T. angustifolia expanded, T. x glauca was reported throughout the range of sympatry (Smith 1967). Shih and Finkelstein (2008) contend that T. latifolia has expanded concomitantly with T. angustifolia since the 1930s, but their data (based on herbarium specimen collection frequency) is inconclusive.
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
T. angustifolia appears to continue to expand in western North America (Galatowitsch et al., 1999), probably abetted by human-caused disturbance, road construction, and the application of deicing salts (Wilcox, 1982; Grace and Harrison, 1986; Smith, 1987). T. x glauca will likely spread concomitantly with T. angustifolia, since T. latifolia is already widespread. Smith (2000) argues that T. x glauca, and perhaps T. angustifolia, should be classified as noxious weeds in North America, but no such designation has been achieved. The potential for T. x glauca to become invasive on other continents (e.g. Europe, where both parental species are widely distributed) is unknown. Taxonomic confusion could lead to an under-representation of T. x glauca’s distribution, especially in places like Northern Africa, where both parental species are reported to be present. Other aggressive Typha species (e.g. T. domingensis) are likely to be more problematic as invaders in tropical and sub-tropical climates.
HabitatTop of page
T. x glauca can invade most wetland community types (including marsh, sedge meadow, shrub- carr, fen, lacustrine and riparian wetlands), as well as anthropogenic habitats where soil is periodically flooded (roadside ditches, irrigation canals, stormwater retention basins). T. latifolia is the only Typha species traditionally associated with undisturbed wetlands of Midwestern North America, while T. angustifolia is more prevalent in disturbed, saline, or artificial wetland habitats (Smith, 1967; Grace and Harrison, 1986). T. angustifolia is more tolerant of deeper water (> 15 cm) and saline soil than is T. latifolia, while T. x glauca tolerates a variety of water depths and salinity levels (McMillan, 1959; Grace and Wetzel, 1982). T. x glauca is most prevalent in areas with disturbed vegetation, bare soil, and altered hydroperiods. Typha spp. show a constitutive tolerance for soil and water contaminated by heavy metals (McNaughton et al., 1974).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Inland saline areas||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Estuaries||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Lagoons||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial – Managed||Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Disturbed areas||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Rail / roadsides||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Urban / peri-urban areas||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Wetlands||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Coastal areas||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Mud flats||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Intertidal zone||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Irrigation channels||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Lakes||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Reservoirs||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Ponds||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
T. angustifolia reduced the growth of mature Bulboschoenus fluviatilis (Torrey) Sojak by producing allelopathic chemicals (Jarchow and Cook, 2009). This mechanism, along with increased competition for light and nutrients, could explain a widespread pattern of reduced wetland plant diversity (including Carex spp., Schoenoplectus spp., and forbs) after T. x glauca invasion (Boers et al., 2007; Frieswyk and Zedler, 2007).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Physiology and Phenology
T. latifolia tolerates an extremely broad climatic spectrum, surviving winter minimums of -34°C in central Alaska as well as thriving in the tropics, and ranging in altitude from sea level to 2000 m (Smith, 1967; Grace and Harrison, 1986). T. angustifolia and T. x glauca, in contrast, might be limited where minimum temperatures are less than -13°C, but they can occupy a similar altitudinal range (0-1800 m). T. latifolia and T. angustifolia are more competitive in shallow < 15 cm) and deeper water, respectively (Grace and Wetzel, 1982), while T. x glauca appears to tolerate widely variable hydroperiods (Frieswyk and Zedler, 2007). T. x glauca can produce rhizomes extending 1 - 2 m below the soil surface, a trait that could increase drought tolerance (SG Smith, University of Wisconsin, USA, personal communication). T. x glauca also survives prolonged inundation. In a marsh flooded under 60 cm of water for 5 years, T. x glauca expanded while T. latifolia decreased (Harris and Marshall, 1963). Seedlings can tolerate anaerobic conditions. Mature plants, however, are intolerant of anaerobic conditions created when leaves are severed below water (Sale and Wetzel, 1983).
ClimateTop of page
|BS - Steppe climate||Tolerated||> 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation|
|C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate||Preferred||Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C|
|Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year||Preferred||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year|
|Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer||Preferred||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers|
|Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter||Preferred||Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)|
|Ds - Continental climate with dry summer||Preferred||Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)|
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||-13||0|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page Summer
Soil TolerancesTop of page
- seasonally waterlogged
Special soil tolerances
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Archips||Herbivore||Inflorescence||not specific||Grace and Harrison, 1986|
|Bellura obliqua||Herbivore||Leaves/Stems||not specific||Grace and Harrison, 1986|
|Calendra pertinax||Herbivore||Growing point||not specific||Grace and Harrison, 1986|
|Dicymolomia julianalis||Herbivore||Inflorescence||not specific||Grace and Harrison, 1986|
|Nonagria||Herbivore||Leaves/Stems||not specific||Grace and Harrison, 1986|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)
Typha’s tiny seeds (1-2 mm long) are contained in fruits attached to pistil hairs, and are often dispersed by the wind. Spikes do not shed fruits until they have dried (Krattinger, 1975), often delaying dispersal until many months after seed maturation. The entire spike sometimes collapses in place. The spread of T. angustifolia might have been facilitated by highway construction, since the species thrives in roadside ditches (Grace and Harrison, 1986) and could rapidly colonize this continuous habitat by wind dispersal. New clones can also establish from rhizome fragments carried by water currents.
Vector Transmission (Biotic)
When the fruit is moistened it releases the seed, which has a pointed end that can become embedded in fish scales (Krattinger, 1975). Also, pistil hairs (with attached fruits) adhere to the clothing of fieldworkers, and could attach to animals as well (S Hall, University of Wisconsin, USA, personal communication, 2008). Mud with embedded seeds readily sticks to humans, livestock, birds, and agricultural implements (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992).
T. latifolia, appears to have been introduced to Australia (Finlayson et al., 1983), while T. latifolia and T. angustifolia might have been introduced to South America (USDA-ARS, 2008). Introductions of T. x glauca outside North America and Europe have not been documented
Indigenous people in the Northwestern United States propagated T. latifolia using rhizome fragments (Turner and Peacock, 2005). T. latifolia (and perhaps T. angustifolia) are planted in landscaped ponds and water treatment wetlands, where they have an opportunity to hybridize (Boers et al., 2007), but there are no reports of intentionally created hybrids.
Pathway CausesTop of page
|Disturbance||Seedlings establish in disturbed vegetation||Yes||Grace and Harrison, 1986|
|Hitchhiker||Fruits and hairs attach to humans, animals and farm implements||Yes||Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992|
|Interbasin transfers||Masses of fruits and hairs or rhizome fragments disperse with water currents||Yes||Grace and Harrison, 1986; Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992|
|Interconnected waterways||Masses of fruits and hairs or rhizome fragments disperse with water currents||Yes||Grace and Harrison, 1986; Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992|
|Landscape improvement||In North America, Typha spp. are planted in constructed wetlands, or they readily colonize these hab||Yes||Boers et al., 2007|
|Ornamental purposes||Inflorescences are sold as decorative objests||Yes||Yes||Morton, 1975|
|Self-propelled||Fruits disperse with the wind||Yes||Grace and Harrison, 1986|
Pathway VectorsTop of page
|Clothing, footwear and possessions||Fruits with hairs||Yes||Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992|
|Floating vegetation and debris||Rhizome fragments||Yes||Grace and Harrison, 1986|
|Host and vector organisms||Typha's fruits can adhere to fish scales||Yes||Krattinger, 1975|
|Water||Fruits, rhizomes||Yes||Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992|
|Wind||Fruits with hairs||Yes||Yes||Krattinger, 1975|
Impact SummaryTop of page
Economic ImpactTop of page
Dense T. x glauca monotypes decrease the abundance of some economically important waterfowl species, while they benefit the red-winged blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus, a crop predator (Linz et al., 1996; Leitch et al., 1997).
Environmental ImpactTop of page Impact on Habitats
In arid climates Typha spp. can deplete water supplies through excessive evapotranspiration (Morton, 1975). T. x glauca appears to alter soil microbial community structure, leading to increased nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations and lower water quality (Angeloni et al., 2006). T. x glauca appears to dramatically increase primary productivity and organic matter accumulation relative to the shorter-statured graminoids that it typically replaces (Woo and Zedler, 2002; Angeloni et al., 2006).
Impact on Biodiversity
T. x glauca can reduce diversity of plants, insects, and birds by forming dense, monotypic stands in natural wetland communities. Plant species richness declined precipitously as T. x glauca cover increased in wetlands of the Midwestern United States, including Great Lakes estuaries, constructed wetlands, sedge meadows, and marshes (Frieswyk and Zedler, 2006; Boers et al., 2007; Hall, 2008). Depletion of seed bank diversity after T. x glauca invasion suggests a loss of resilience (Frieswyk and Zedler, 2006). Dense cover by T. x glauca also reduces invertebrate density and waterfowl habitat (Linz et al., 1999).
Social ImpactTop of page
Typha invasion reduces opportunities for waterfowl hunting and viewing, and decreases the aesthetic value of natural areas by lowering biodiversity.
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Has a broad native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Is a habitat generalist
- Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
- Pioneering in disturbed areas
- Highly mobile locally
- Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
- Long lived
- Fast growing
- Has high reproductive potential
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Reproduces asexually
- Has high genetic variability
- Altered trophic level
- Changed gene pool/ selective loss of genotypes
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Modification of hydrology
- Modification of natural benthic communities
- Modification of nutrient regime
- Modification of successional patterns
- Monoculture formation
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Reduced amenity values
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Threat to/ loss of native species
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Competition - shading
- Rapid growth
- Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
- Difficult to identify/detect in the field
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop of page Economic Value
T. latifolia and T. angustifolia leaves are used for weaving, and most parts of the plant (rhizomes, buds, young shoots, female inflorescences, seeds, and pollen) were eaten by indigenous Americans and Europeans (Morton, 1975). Rhizomes contain up to 80% starch by dry weight, and pollen is protein-rich. Presumably, T. x glauca has similar potential uses. However, several cases of poisoning have been attributed to T. angustifolia and T. latifolia, and the congener T. domingensis produces a toxic oil Typha should not be harvested for food where water is contaminated, due to Typha’s propensity to accumulate heavy metals and other toxins. High productivity and resilience to harvest make T. x glauca an attractive species for biofuel production (Garver et al., 1988).
T. x glauca could provide valuable food, raw materials, wastewater treatment, and industrial-site remediation.
Typha spp. can improve water quality in wetlands managed for wastewater treatment, by increasing denitrification (Bachand and Horne, 2000; Martin et al., 2003). Periodic leaf harvesting can remove accumulated nitrogen and phosphorus (Toet et al., 2005). It is unclear, however, if Typha spp. improves water quality more than other wetland plants. T. x glauca actually increased sediment nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations when it invaded a freshwater marsh (Angeloni et al., 2006). T. x glauca might be most appropriate for remediating industrial sites, because of T. latifolia’s constitutive high tolerance to heavy metals (McNaughton et al., 1974).
Uses ListTop of page
Animal feed, fodder, forage
- Fodder/animal feed
- Sociocultural value
Human food and beverage
- Emergency (famine) food
- Food additive
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
T. domingensis is often sympatric with the parental species T. latifolia and T. angustifolia, and shares many characters with T. angustifolia (short, stiff compound pedicels, linear stigmas, presence of pistillate bracteoles, monad pollen). See Description section for characteristics of parent and hybrid. T. domingensis is distinguished by: light brown pistillate bracteoles similar in length to pistil hairs; normally colourless pistil hair apices; light-brown to cinnamon-coloured pistillate spike at anthesis, darkening slightly at maturity; leaf sheathes and adjacent blades with mucilage glands on the adaxial surface. Leaves are 7-18 mm wide, mature pistillate spikes are 13-26 mm wide, and the pistillate and staminate spikes are separated by 0-8 cm.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.Prevention
Prevention is difficult given Typha’s prolific seed production. Reducing anthropogenic disturbance of soil and vegetation could reduce establishment, but disturbance by animals can still create germination sites, even in protected wetlands. Maintaining natural hydrology and reducing nutrient loads could reduce the density and spread of T. x glauca after its establishment (Boers, 2006). Maintaining consistently high water levels (> 1.2 m) in managed wetlands could prevent establishment from seed (Ivens, 1967).Eradication
Most management of T. x glauca has focused on periodic density reductions to benefit waterfowl, rather than on permanent eradication (Apfelbaum, 1985). Seed banks often contain hundreds of viable seeds/m2 (van der Valk and Davis, 1978b). Eradication would require yearly surveillance to kill new clones as they establish. Targeting T. angustfolia would reduce the spread of T. x glauca, but T. latifolia is normally a desirable component of North American wetlands.Control
Burning, cutting, and grazing often reduce Typha spp. when followed by flooding. These methods remove leaf tissue that Typha requires to transport oxygen to underwater rhizomes. Deprived of oxygen, Typha respires anaerobically and accumulates ethanol as a toxic byproduct, causing mortality (Sale and Wetzel, 1983). High water levels are necessary to maintain Typha in an anaerobic environment after it re-sprouts. Water depths sufficient for complete mortality of Typha spp. after cutting have ranged from 26-80 cm, and experiments where water levels varied spatially showed increased re-growth in shallow water relative to deeper water (Shekhov, 1974; Beule and Hine, 1979; Murkin and Ward, 1980; Mallik and Wein, 1985; Ball, 1990). Cutting Typha while ramets are flowering and rhizome carbohydrate reserves are low reduces re-growth (Linde et al., 1976; Singh et al., 1976). Fires in flooded wetlands do not normally reduce Typha, probably because underwater leaf tissue is not damaged (Mallik and Wein, 1985; Grieco et al., 2005; Lee et al., 2005). In drained wetlands, fire can sometimes reduce Typha by damaging rhizomes directly (Mallik and Wein, 1985). Soil-burning fires can benefit Typha by increasing nutrient availability (Newman et al., 1998; Smith and Newman, 2001), but post-fire nutrient pulses might only increase growth temporarily (Ponzio et al., 2004). Successive water-level drawdowns could favour sedges (e.g. Eleocharis spp.) over Typha, as occurred in a T. domingensis marsh in Brazil (Palma-Silva et al., 2005). Draining and bulldozing provides destructive but effective control (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992). Sheep grazing decreased T. domingensis density in the soil seed bank (Nicol et al. 2007).Biological control
Many herbicides reduce Typha in the short-term, including glyphosate, amitrole-T, amino-triazole, or MCPA (Annen, 2007). These are effectively applied during flowering or when leaves begin to senesce (Beule and Hine 1979; Apfelbaum, 1985).Control by utilization
Harvesting Typha leaves can reduce re-growth, if followed by flooding.Monitoring and Surveillance
Restoring natural hydrology, preventing prolonged flooding, and reducing nutrient loads should minimize Typha’s spread and ameliorate effects on diversity. In low-nutrient fens fed by groundwater, T. x glauca does not dominate or reduce plant diversity (Q Carpenter, University of Wisconsin, USA, personal communication, 2008).
Gaps in Knowledge/Research NeedsTop of page
The relative invasiveness of T. latifolia, T. angustifolia, and T. x glauca are often debated. Some argue that both parental species are invasive (Shih and Finkelstein, 2008). Other research suggests that T. latifolia is benign, and that T. x glauca is replacing its parental genotypes as well as other wetland species (Smith, 1987; Frieswyk and Zedler, 2007; Marburger et al., 2007). Mis-identifications could contribute to the debate over the relative invasiveness of T. latifolia versus T. x glauca. To what extent nitrogen and phosphorus limit growth is still unclear. Also, it is unclear what factors constrain the restoration of diverse wetland communities from T. x glauca monotypes (Boers et al., 2007; Hall, 2008).
ReferencesTop of page
Angeloni NL; Jankowski KJ; Tuchman NC; Kelly JJ, 2006. Effects of an invasive cattail species (Typha × glauca) on sediment nitrogen and microbial community composition in a freshwater wetland. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 263(1):86-92. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/fml
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30/04/08 Original text by:
Steven Hall, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
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