Phragmites Australis

Peter Selby pete.selby at
Sat Sep 28 00:39:48 EST 1996

In message <51vldl$5dh at>
        wolflh at (WolfLH) writes: 

> We are doing some research on Phragmities australis. If you have any
> information on this plant, such as: control and eradication, uses for,
> ecosystem roles, etc., we would be thankful!

> Thanks,

> Valerie L'Herrou and Kathy Miller

In UK Phragmites is a native, and as a habitat reed beds are under 
threat due to drainage.  It is used as the source of Norfolk Reed and 
as such is used and has been for centuries as a thatching material.  
This means that it is managed by cutting in winter and then extracted 
by boat.  Its ecolgical importance is great as it provides habitat 
for the very endangered Bitterne, various elusive warblers, Marsh 
Harrier and Otters and Harvest Mice.  It also provides important 
cover for fish fry and invertebrates.  All in all its very useful and 
not something we would want to eradicate.

Where it is managed on various reserves the cut reed is frequently 
used as screening panels for bird hides.

 Pete Selby
(pete.selby at

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