Researchers from U-M harvesting invasive cattails to restore marsh biodiversity

A team of researchers based at the U-M Biological Station in Pellston, are using a $500,000 federal grant to test a novel approach for restoring the biological diversity of Great Lakes coastal wetlands like Cheboygan Marsh, alongside Lake Huron at the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

At Cheboygan Marsh, the goal is to restore the plant, bird and fish diversity lost when the hybrid cattails—a cross between native broad-leaved and non-native narrow-leaved cattails—moved in.

The cattail project, funded by a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is the first large-scale effort to restore a wetland in this region by harvesting invasive plants, according to team members.

In addition to Cheboygan Marsh, the team worked at several sites over the summer in the eastern Upper Peninsula and one in Cleveland.

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