Distribution and environmental associations throughout southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan for the cattail species Typha latifolia, and T. angustifolia, and for the hybrid, T. x glauca
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Cattails (Typha spp.) are invasive and tend to decrease the biodiversity and area of open water of marshes, particularly where the natural hydrological cycles have been altered, as in Delta Marsh, Manitoba. Understanding the distribution of T. latifolia L., T. angustifolia L., their hybrid, T. x glauca Godr., and the environmental variables associated with their habitats, may give valuable insight for managing cattails. The distribution of these cattail species and hybrid were surveyed in 2011 in prairie pothole and roadside ditch marshes across southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan. Plants were identified by analysis of microscopic leaf-lamina margin characteristics. T. x glauca was most widespread, followed by T. latifolia, whereas T. angustifolia was rare and only found as far west as central Manitoba. Current understanding of the correlations between cattail invasions and their environment is conflicting and largely based on lacustrine wetland studies. A generalized linear model was developed. The model explained approximately 40% of the variation in T. x glauca distribution in the prairie potholes and ditches. The model included the environmental variables of sediment Olsen-P, sediment nitrate-N, water pH, litter depth, surrounding land use, and the interaction between Olsen-P and nitrate-N. Olsen-P was the most important of these variables, because its removal from the model significantly reduced the residual deviance of the model (P=0.05). In a survey of 13 transects throughout Delta Marsh in 2009, hybrid cattail, T. x glauca, was dominant, T. angustifolia was rare, and T. latifolia was absent. ANOVA linear regression (P=0.05) revealed that above-ground biomass was correlated with mean cattail ramet height, cattail ramet density, and standing litter biomass. Cattail ramet density was negatively correlated with sampling date and positively correlated with standing litter biomass. Mean cattail height was correlated with fallen litter biomass. One-way ANOVA (P=0.05) revealed that fallen litter biomass was lowest in quadrats closer to the open water, and mean cattail height was greatest at the quadrats closest to the open water. While mean cattail height differed depending on whether the cattail stand was a hybrid monoculture or a mixed stand of T. x glauca and T. angustifolia, no other cattail population variables were correlated with stand type. As revealed by one-way ANOVA (P=0.05), water conductivity, sediment texture, total-N, nitrate-N, Olsen-P, and organic-C were not important variables in the distributions of T. x glauca or T. angustifolia at Delta Marsh. Therefore, managing the nutrient levels at Delta Marsh would not likely be important for limiting the distribution of the cattails at this marsh. However, reducing the P concentration in pothole and ditch marshes may limit cattails in those environments.