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Tuesday, January 26 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
Collective Development of A Science Agenda For Managing Non-Native Phragmites Australis Through Microbial Intervention

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AUTHORS: Kurt P. Kowalski*, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Wes Bickford, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center

ABSTRACT: Management of non-native common reed Phragmites australis is a high priority for federal, state, and private resources managers throughout North America. Conventional management strategies are not sustainable at the landscape scale, so innovative approaches are being developed. Using principles of the collective impact model, an international group of scientists formed the Collaborative for Microbial Symbiosis and Phragmites Management (PSC) in 2013. This group sought to establish the current state of the science, identify research gaps, and develop a research agenda to guide and support research on microbial symbiosis to maximize collective progress toward an integrated Phragmites australis control and habitat restoration strategy. Phragmites harbors rich microbial communities comprised of both mutualists and potential pathogens. However, the specific roles and functions of most of these Phragmites-associated microbes have not been evaluated. Similarly, the steps needed to develop a management strategy based on symbiotic microbial relationships are unclear. The PSC published a recent paper highlighting a proposed science agenda that outlines four sequential steps and several tasks to guide the development of a microbe-based control strategy for Phragmites. First, an inventory of the microbes influential to Phragmites will identify the organisms to target for subsequent research. Second, a description of the benefits and roles of influential microbes will reveal microbial-plant symbiotic relationships that may give Phragmites a competitive advantage over native species. Third, select relationships can be targeted for control, and resulting management methods can be tested for effectiveness and feasibility in the final conceptual step. These steps target the microbial relationships influencing the competitive abilities of invasive Phragmites and describe principles and approaches useful for microbiome manipulations in other invasive species.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
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