Evidence for multiple introductions of Phragmites australis to North America: Detection of a new non-native haplotype

Laura A. Meyerson, University of Rhode Island
James T. Cronin, Louisiana State University


We found a new non-native haplotype of Phragmites australis in North America that provides convincing evidence for multiple introductions of this highly invasive reed from Europe. Prior to our detection of this new non-native haplotype, invasion of North America by this reed grass was thought to be limited to a single cp-DNA haplotype-haplotype M. However, we found two sites colonized by haplotype L1 in Quebec, Canada, a haplotype native to northern Europe, Great Britain and Romania. Because the invasion of North America by P. australis is ongoing, and because there is evidence for intra- and inter-specific hybridization and increased fecundity resulting from outcrossing, more attention should be paid to genetic differences and associated vigor of populations of introduced Phragmites across North America. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.