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  • Wildrice (Zizania palustris; Manoomin) Biology, Functions and Values, and Soil Physiochemical Properties Affecting Production: A Review of Available Literature

    Abstract: Wildrice (Zizania palustris L.) is an annual aquatic emergent plant primarily distributed across portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Canada. Wildrice requires narrow environmental conditions that vary throughout its life cycle. Environmental conditions required include water levels between 15 and 90 cm, slow flowing water, anaerobic soil, and circum-neutral pH. Wildrice production and abundance is most often limited by nitrogen availability. Both short- and long-term changes in local conditions impact distribution and abundance of wildrice at local and regional scales. Reported declines in wildrice production have increased interest in evaluating changing environmental conditions, specifically within the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Wildrice, or manoomin, is an important food and cultural resource, and remains important to native peoples throughout the region, including the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. This report provides a review of literature related to wildrice and examines potential factors affecting its production in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This report highlights cultural and traditional values, functions and values of wildrice, and unique chemical and physical aspects of the environment where wildrice grow. Additionally, this report synthesizes the data gathered in the literature review, identifies knowledge gaps, and provides research opportunities for improved wildrice production in the Great Lakes region.
  • Aligning Research and Management Priorities for Nitellopsis obtusa (Starry Stonewort)

    Abstract: In 2018, the US Army Corps of Engineers and Washington and Waukesha Counties in Wisconsin hosted a workshop on the invasive macroalga starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa). Leading water resource managers (agencies and commercial applicators), researchers, regulators, and other interested parties discussed issues surrounding starry stonewort invasions in the Great Lakes Region (GLR). Technical sessions presented information on current research, invasion monitoring, early detection, rapid-response efforts, and operational management activities. Research summaries included invasion in Lake Ontario, prediction of invasion risk in Minnesota and Wisconsin using water chemistry data, and bulbil efficacy and distribution modeling in New England. In addition, the workshop offered summaries of attempted chemical and mechanical control tactics. Following presentations on previous studies, workshop participants identified research and management priorities. Critical research gaps identified from this workshop include (a) better understanding of the biology, invasion ecology, and management of starry stonewort; a greater understanding of distribution and movement, especially in the Great Lakes basin; enhanced population monitoring, applied research, and management strategies; and increased technical cooperation across government, academia, industry, and nonprofit organizations. Conclusions from this meeting will help prioritize future efforts focused on the adaptive management of starry stonewort in the United States and Canada.