Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework

PAMF is the first wide-scale application of adaptive management to address the issue of non-native Phragmites australis.  With this approach, PAMF will become a ground-breaking decision-support tool which will facilitate more effective and efficient management of Phragmites across the basin. Millions of dollars have been spent on non-native Phragmites management since 2010, but long-term control is difficult, a standardized measurement and tracking system does not exist, and land managers face uncertainty regarding site specific treatment effectiveness. PAMF will address the challenges by facilitating collection of standardized monitoring reports from Phragmites management sites across the Great Lakes basin, and entry of these data into a computer database. A computer model developed by the core team and Technical Working Group will learn from the monitoring data and produce site-specific treatment guidance for participants. The Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF) was initiated by the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative and is funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Find out more by visiting our website!

In 2016, a PAMF core team was established which includes staff from the Great Lakes Commission, US Geological Survey, and the University of Georgia. The core team is working closely with a Technical Working Group (TWG), which is composed of a team of twelve professionals from across the basin with Phragmites management experience. Together, these groups have:

  • Met in-person during multiple workshops to discuss development of a standardized monitoring protocol
  • Trained a small group of participants in use of the monitoring protocol during a 2017 pilot season of PAMF
  • Developed a state-and-transition computer model which will receive treatment reports from PAMF participants, learn from the results of treatments at each site, and use this information to create site-specific treatment guidance for participants
  • Developed a public-facing user interface (“web hub”) for participants to submit their data and receive treatment guidance
  • Conducted outreach on PAMF at numerous meetings and conferences, including the Stewardship Network, IAGLR, the Wisconsin Wetlands Conference, and many more
  • Scheduled training sessions across the Great Lakes basin for spring/summer 2018 to facilitate enrollment of new participants

To learn more about PAMF or to inquire about training sessions in your area, contact us at [email protected].

Adaptive Management is a standardized approach to natural resource management that builds learning into the management process by combining consistent monitoring protocols with quantifiable and predictive models to generate an improved understanding of how specific site conditions can impact and change expected management outcomes.

The centralized database is essentially a user-interface where PAMF participants will enroll a site, submit monitoring data, and receive updated management advice. This cycle will repeat on an annual basis and PAMF will continue to run as long as non-native Phragmites continues to require management in the basin. The monitoring protocol has been developed and was tested by participants in a 2017 pilot year, and will be widely shared in training workshops in spring/summer of 2018. Participants will enter their monitoring data into the database, providing a computer model with data to learn and develop site-specific treatment guidance for the following year.

This approach can truly be a regional one where data from anyone in the basin is directly contributing to an improved understanding about what control options will be most effective and efficient across various site conditions. Ultimately, Phragmites managers across the basin will all save time and resources while the site specific learning is documented in a standardized way, and made accessible to everyone through time.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Geological Survey under Grant/Cooperative Agreement No. G18AC00279. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Geological Survey. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Project Partners

U.S. Geological Survey


This program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the USGS-Great Lakes Science Center under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

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