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Salt tolerance underlies the cryptic invasion of North American salt marshes by an introduced haplotype of the common reed Phragmites australis (Poaceae)

June 16, 2010

A distinct, non-native haplotype of the common reed Phragmites australis has become invasive in Atlantic coastal Spartina marshes. We compared the salt tolerance and other growth characteristics of the invasive M haplotype with 2 native haplotypes (F and AC) in greenhouse experiments. The M haplotype retained 50% of its growth potential up to 0.4 M NaCl, whereas the F and AC haplotypes did not grow above 0.1 M NaCl. The M haplotype produced more shoots per gram of rhizome tissue and had higher relative growth rates than the native haplotypes on both freshwater and saline water treatments. The M haplotype also differed from the native haplotypes in shoot water content and the biometrics of shoots and rhizomes. The results offer an explanation for how the M haplotype is able to spread in coastal salt marshes and support the conclusion of DNA analyses that the M haplotype is a distinct ecotype of P. australis.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2005
Title Salt tolerance underlies the cryptic invasion of North American salt marshes by an introduced haplotype of the common reed <i>Phragmites australis</i> (Poaceae)
DOI 10.3354/meps298001
Authors Edward A. Vasquez, Edward P. Glenn, J. Jed Brown, Glenn R. Guntenspergen, Stephen G. Nelson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Ecology Progress Series
Index ID 5224468
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center