Description of Reed Canarygrass Eastern Marsh
Reed Canarygrass Eastern Marsh is similar to other vegetation communities dominated by an exotic invasive species. While reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) fully dominates most marshes, there are cases where it is joined by smooth alder (Alnus serrulata) and arrow-wood (Viburnum dentatum). The United States Vegetation Classification System code for this community is CEGL006044.
Reed Canarygrass Eastern Marsh in Aerial Imagery
Reed Canarygrass Eastern Marsh looks very similar to Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow (previous post) in imagery, but reed canarygrass has a white fibrous look and its white is not as brilliant. Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow has a flat look in nearly every instance. However, sometimes this rule of thumb does not work. Reed canarygrass can have the flat look as well. When this happens you have to think of the habits of the species. Japanese stiltgrass covers things like a green slime or brown blanket in the winter. Reed canarygrass takes advantage of openings, but does not cover things.
Using the above, if you have a site where there are still shrubs present it is most likely Reed Canarygrass Eastern Marsh. If you have a site where only the dominating species is present you most likely have Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow. Reed grass (Phragmites australis) presents a grayish “dirty cotton” preventing confusion between there two.
Below are some examples of marshes with reed canarygrass.
Depicted below is a reed canarygrass marsh on Issac Branch, a tributary to the St. Jones River. This marsh is depicted at ground level in the front image. Note the “fibrous” look and that the white color is not as brilliant as Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow.
This picture shows a marsh on the Christina River at Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge. Note that this marsh is white but not as brilliant white as Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow. Also you can see individual shrubs and other debris because reed canarygrass does not cover things. Pickerelweed Tidal Marsh edges the marsh.
Reed Canarygrass vs. Japanese stiltgrass, How to tell the Difference
As a comparison for the above, below are some imagery shots of Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow. Note that Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow is brilliant white and covers the logs and shrubs in whiteness. The “whiteness” is the Japanese stiltgrass covering anything in its path.
Image from Christina River.
Image from Augustine Creek. Note the reed grass on the edges.