Field sampling at Maple River and Lost Marsh Wildlife Refuge is now finished. It is now cram time as we complete the process of writing and data analysis. The last two trips to the field was quite an experience, getting lost in a field of cattails can be disorienting, exhausting and time consuming (technical difficulties with GPS) but overall a good way to get in a workout.
The wetland we are looking at is dominated by cattails and in some parts composed of a significant amount of litter which can displace other herbaceous aquatic vegetation by blocking out sunlight. At Maple River we did observe a floating mat which are primarily inhabited by hybridized cattails that are create of an extensive network of rhizomes and form monotypic stands, reducing biodiversity. However, cattails stands still provide valuable ecosystem services by efficiently taking nitrates and incorporating it into biomass.