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Maryland Stream Restoration Association

“an association of professionals dedicated to healthy streams through the advancement of stream restoration science” 

MSRA Webinar Series - How Native Plants can be used to Control Invasive Phragmites feat. Sylvia Jacobson and Dennis Whigham, PhD

  • 16 Feb 2023
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (EST)
  • GoToWebinar
  • 79


MSRA Webinar Series - How Native Plants Can Be Used to Control Invasive Phragmites feat. Sylvia Jacobson and Dennis Whigham, PhD

MSRA is excited to continue our series of webinars featuring leading industry researchers and partners, as we strive to offer opportunities for discussion and promote advancement of the stream restoration science. Visit our website and social media channels for upcoming webinars. Continuing Education Credits will be offered for these events.  We hope you will join us:  

When: Thursday February 16, 2022

Time: 12:00 p.m. -  1:00 p.m.

Where: GoToWebinar

Following your registration, and prior to the event, you will receive a webinar link from GoToWebinar which will give you access to the webinar.

Will you be attending?

Register Today! Registration will close at 5pm on Wednesday February 15.


Cost: Free for members, $10 for non-members

Presenter Bio:

Sylvia Jacobson is a Ph.D. student studying Wetland Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a NOAA Davidson Fellow with the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland. Her current research investigates how sea level rise is changing coastal wetland plant communities and soils. She previously worked in environmental consulting with Anchor QEA and obtained her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and an M.S. from the University of Maryland. In her free time, she enjoys long walks in the woods with her baby daughter.

Dennis Whigham, Ph.D  is a Senior Botanist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and a Founding Director of the North American Orchid Conservation Center. The ecology of plants has been Dennis Whigham’s primary interest and his research has resulted in journeys through forests, fields and wetlands around the world.  Explorations have led to studies of woodland herbs – including orchids, vines, wetland species, invasive species and studies of forests in the tropics, temperate and boreal zones.  In recent years, studies of interactions between orchids and fungi have resulted in new and exciting directions.  Whigham’s current research projects focus on the role of wetlands associated with juvenile salmon habitat in Alaska headwater streams; the rarest terrestrial orchid in eastern North America; and an invasive wetland species that is rapidly expanding across the country.  His current passion is to establish the North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC), an initiative of the Smithsonian and the United States Botanic Garden.  NAOCC’s mission is to secure the genetic diversity of native orchids for future generations.  The NAOCC model for orchid conservation is based on public-private collaborations and there are currently more than fifty collaborating organization distributed across the continent from Florida to Alaska.

Whigham obtained an undergraduate degree from Wabash College and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina.  He joined the Smithsonian in 1977.  Whigham and his collaborators have published more than 250 articles in journals and books and he has co-edited 10 books.

Presentation Abstract:

Phragmites australis, an invasive wetland grass, has become widespread in the United States in recent decades, threatening native plant and animal biodiversity. There have been many efforts to eradicate Phragmites, but eradication does not always lead to the return of native plants. This research project investigated native vegetation recolonization following Phragmites removal at several tidal wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We also tested the potential of planting native wetland plant species as part of Phragmites management. Our study found that native vegetation in low salinity tidal wetlands recovered rapidly, and planting had little effect, likely due to a higher natural abundance of annual plants that can quickly regenerate from seed. Brackish (more saline) tidal wetlands had slower vegetation recovery, likely because salinity inhibits seedling germination, and planting native species at these sites increased vegetation recovery. In our project and in previous studies, planting in tidal wetlands had mixed success. From our study, we think that planting survival is influenced by plant size and quality, timing of planting, site flooding frequency, and site exposure to wind and waves.

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