Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
|Pump house and water control structure for green-tree impoundment at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in central New York. Waterfowl broods produced in adjacent flooded forest found excellent foraging conditions among floating and emergent aquatic plants in the foreground, 18 June 1968.||Ten years later, purple loosestrife had displaced native food and cover plants in the waterway surrounding the green-tree impoundment at the Montezuma Refuge. Biologist holding stadia rod in middle foreground is obscured by mature plants. Note the abundance of Lythrum salicaria seedlings along the water line, 16 August 1978.|
United States Department of the Interior
Fish and Wildlife Service
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria L.) is an erect, herbaceous perennial of Eurasian origin that became established in the estuaries of northeastern North America by the early 1800's. By the late 1800's it had spread throughout the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, reaching as far north and west as Manitoba. L. salicaria caused few problems until the 1930's when it became aggressive in the floodplain pastures of the St. Lawrence River. Since then, it has steadily expanded its local distribution and now poses a serious threat to native emergent vegetation in shallowwater marshes throughout the northeastern and northcentral regions. Recent records indicate that purple loosestrife is also tolerant of soils and climates beyond these regions and threatens to become a serious problem in wetlands and irrigation systems in the Great Plains and the Far West.
It is no small irony that after 50 years of struggle to find some means of breaking up monotypic stands of cattails (Typha spp.) to increase wildlife diversity and abundance, wetland managers must now cope with a foreign species that replaces cattail, but unfortunately creates another monospecific community of greatly diminished wildlife value.
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Fish and Wildlife Research - This series comprises scientific and technical reports based on original scholarly research, interpretive reviews, or theoretical presentations. Publications in this series generally relate to fish or wildlife and their ecology. The Service distributes these publications to natural resource agencies, libraries and bibliographic collection facilities, scientists, and resource managers.
Copies of this publication may be obtained from the Publications Unit, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC 20240, or may be purchased from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161.
|As the Nation's principle conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of our nationally owned public lands and natural resources. This includes fostering the wisest use of our land and water resources, protecting our fish and wildlife, preserving the environmental and cultural values of our national parks and historical places, and providing for the enjoyment of life through outdoor recreation. The Department assesses our energy and mineral resources and works to assure that their development is in the best interests of all our people. The Department also has a major responsibility for American Indian reservation communities and for people who live in island territories under U. S. administration.|
This resource is based on the following source:
Thompson, Daniel Q., Ronald L. Stuckey, Edith B. Thompson. 1987. Spread, Impact, and Control of Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) in North American Wetlands. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 55 pages.
This resource should be cited as:
Thompson, Daniel Q., Ronald L. Stuckey, Edith B. Thompson. 1987. Spread, Impact, and Control of Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) in North American Wetlands. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 55 pages. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/plants/loosstrf/index.htm (Version 04JUN1999).