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Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), a prominent invasive understory species, threatens native Michigan biodiversity statewide. A notable affected area includes a stretch of agricultural land along Schooley Drain in Caledonia, MI, located in the headwaters of the Plaster Creek watershed. Our study pursues the following questions: “Do native trees provide enough shade to reduce the growth of Reed canary grass?” and “Which native trees best transpire water from a floodplain?”: To answer these questions, we initiated a long-term evaluation of seven different species of native Michigan trees to investigate which species best inhibits the growth of reed canary grass and transpires the most water. Information generated from this research will help to support the utility of trees in riparian restoration projects.

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