Mires and Peat
On many public lands in the Great Plains region of the USA and Canada, cattail (Typha spp.) growth has far exceeded the 50:50 distribution recommended for optimum wetland wildlife habitat. Excessive cattail growth is the primary concern of wetland managers and its integrated management is reviewed here. The coverage of this mostly hybrid cattail (T. latifolia × T. angustifolia) is often over 90 % and if partially removed for habitat enhancement represents a substantial biomass resource in sites such as conservation wetlands, water retention basins and roadside drainage ditches. Available biomass is estimated to be 3,000 kg/ha assuming a 50 % harvest rate. Cattail control using mowing, herbicides, and burning is expensive, therefore if harvest logistics can be improved along with developing biomass markets, harvest management would become much more viable. Energy values of cattails are comparable to wood pellets at 20 MJ/kg. Cattails can be simultaneously managed for wetland wildlife, harvested for biofuel, serve as a partial substitute for coal, generate carbon credits, and remove phosphorus from the watershed. Cattails extract nitrogen and phosphorous from runoff water that enters rivers and lakes that could be used for agricultural fertiliser while reducing eutrophication. Additionally, rural economies could be boosted by harvesting a renewable energy resource, especially in areas with little fossil fuels or unsustainable biomass practices.
Dan Svedarsky, Richard Grosshans, Henry David Venema, et al.. "Integrated management of invasive cattails (Typha spp.) for wetland habitat and biofuel in the Northern Great Plains of the United States and Canada: A review" (2019). Biology Faculty Publications. 37.