US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Restoration Ecology Vol. 30, No. 4, e13562


U.S. government works are not subject to copyright.


Lake-level regulation that began in 1960 eliminated large fluctuations of Lake Ontario water levels, altering coastal wetland plant communities. More than a half century later, the altered hydroperiod supports dense, monotypic stands of invasive cattail (Typha angustifolia and Typha × glauca), which have diminished overall plant community diversity. As a result, Lake Ontario coastal wetlands are less capable of providing many of their traditional ecological functions. One such wetland is Buttonwood Fen, a floating, lake-connected peatland on Lake Ontario’s southern shore near Rochester, NY. We implemented cattailcontrol measures from 2016 to 2018 with the goal of decreasing live and dead cattail biomass and increasing cover of native fen taxa. Site manipulation included removal of dead cattail biomass, cutting new cattail growth when rhizome carbohydrate reserves were at their lowest, and hand-wicking regrowth with herbicide in early fall. Results showed a decrease in live cattail stem density and cover and dead biomass cover, as well as an increase in cover of fen taxa. Although not a replicated study, our results suggest that removing dead cattail biomass and targeted treatment of live cattail stems via cutting and hand-wicking with glyphosate can reduce cattail and improve site quality.