Large-statured invasive grasses (LSIGs) constitute a distinct functional group with characteristic life history traits that facilitate colonization and aggressive growth in aquatic ecosystems, particularly those modified by human activities. These species typically form monocultures in the systems they invade and have wide-ranging and negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem processes. In March 2008, a special symposium was held as part of the Western Society of Weed Scientists annual meeting to synthesize our current knowledge of the ecological impacts and management of two notorious LSIGs: Arundo donax and Phragmites australis. In this volume of Invasive Plant Science and Management, symposium participants provide articles summarizing existing knowledge, recent research progress, and research needs for these two taxa. Here, we summarize the basic biology of these species and suggest the use of a more holistic approach to deal with the effects and management of LSIG invasions.
Nomenclature: Giant reed, Arundo donax L.; common reed, Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.