Phragmites Symbiosis Collaborative

The Phragmites Symbiosis Collaborative (PSC) is a partnership with the US Geological Survey to facilitate cooperation and collaboration among scientists to better understand the use of endophytic communities to manage invasive Phragmites australis. The PCS coordinates a core group of scientists working to develop an integrated Phragmites symbiosis research strategy which will improve management of this invasive plant and inform restoration strategies for native plant species.

To date, PSC members have convened in meetings to discuss their research and begin development of a research Phragmites symbiosis research strategy.

Project Narrative

The USGS is interested in supporting research that specifically targets non-native Phragmites. To facilitate this research that advances the use of symbiotic control mechanisms for invasive plants, the USGS and the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) have initiated the Phragmites Symbiosis Collaborative (PSC). The PSC will bring together researchers from different organizations to maximize the outcomes of individual research projects, build upon successes and breakthroughs of its members, provide input on future research and management strategies, and use expertise of individual members to collectively find solutions for a significant wetlands management issue in the Great Lakes basin. The PSC will advance research associated with endophytes and invasive species and explore the potential to use symbiotic relationships both to control invasive Phragmites and encourage native plant establishment. The PSC represents a unique and exciting opportunity for leading scientists involved in plant-fungal symbioses to collectively examine one of the most threatening invasive plants in North America and build a foundation for similar efforts for other species.

The PSC is led by the USGS and the GLC as part of a broader USGS effort (funded primarily by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative) to identify innovative strategies to manage invasive Phragmites. The objectives of the PSC are to: 1) establish the current state of the science and identify significant research gaps, 2) develop a vision document or agenda to guide future research, 3) provide support for research projects (e.g. supplemental funding, labor, infrastructure) to address the most pressing research needs, and 4) maximize collective progress toward an integrated Phragmites-control and habitat restoration strategy founded on microbial symbiosis relationships.

Project Partners


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

For More Information

Heather Braun
Project Manager for Habitat Restoration
Great Lakes Commission
[email protected]

Elaine Ferrier
Senior Program Specialist
Great Lakes Commission
[email protected]

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