Measuring the effects of high flows on channel morphology and the mortality and colonization of Phragmites australis on the Central Platte River, Nebraska
The expansion of a European haplotype of Phragmites australis in the central Platte River is reducing habitat available for migrating sandhill and whooping cranes, and nesting piping plovers and least terns. An aggressive control program involving aerial herbicide application and disking to maintain open habitat is practiced. Our research has documented the time-course of the infestation and is seeking to understand the implications of the control methods for Phragmites expansion. Collaborators at the USGS Sediment Transport Lab in Golden, Colorado, are examining effects of Phragmites colonies on river morphology and sediment transport and deposition.
Diane L Larson