Invasive phragmites

(Willmar MN-) Kandiyohi County has a new invasive species to be aware of...invasive phragmites. Kandiyohi County Commission Roger Imdieke is chair of the county's Aquative Invasive Species task force, and says invasive phragmites look a lot like the common reed found along shorelines, but they have a large flowery top...

...The plant is found on Foot Lake across the road from Lakeland Broadcasting, along the Glacial Lakes State Trail near Hawick, along the BNSF tracks about 2 miles east of Willmar, and in two locations on the east side of Swenson Lake. Imdieke says the seeds can be transported by the wind or other means...

...The University of Minnesota says invasive phragmites " have been shown to alter the hydrology of wetland systems, lower plant diversity, impact food webs, and reduce diversity and abundance of invertebrates, fish, and waterbirds." Other invasive species in Kandiyohi County include zebra mussels, which have been found in 11 of the top 12 lakes in Kandiyohi County, along with eurasian water milfoil. Imdieke says they are also keeping an eye out for the spread of starry stonewort and curly pond leaf. The legislature has appropriated funds to counties to help fight aquatic invasive species and to The U of M to find ways to eradicate them.