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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e44420. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044420. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

Positive effects of nonnative invasive Phragmites australis on larval bullfrogs.

Author information

1
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, Conneticut, USA. mary.rogalski@yale.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Nonnative Phragmites australis (common reed) is one of the most intensively researched and managed invasive plant species in the United States, yet as with many invasive species, our ability to predict, control or understand the consequences of invasions is limited. Rapid spread of dense Phragmites monocultures has prompted efforts to limit its expansion and remove existing stands. Motivation for large-scale Phragmites eradication programs includes purported negative impacts on native wildlife, a view based primarily on observational results. We took an experimental approach to test this assumption, estimating the effects of nonnative Phragmites australis on a native amphibian.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Concurrent common garden and reciprocal transplant field experiments revealed consistently strong positive influences of Phragmites on Rana catesbeiana (North American bullfrog) larval performance. Decomposing Phragmites litter appears to contribute to the effect.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Positive effects of Phragmites merit further research, particularly in regions where both Phragmites and R. catesbeiana are invasive. More broadly, the findings of this study reinforce the importance of experimental evaluations of the effects of biological invasion to make informed conservation and restoration decisions.

PMID:
22952976
PMCID:
PMC3431391
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0044420
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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