Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.01, Issue 14, 1995; Page No.(10-22)

PRODUCTIVITY OF AQUATIC WEED SALVINIA (SALVINIA MOLESTA, MITCHELL) IN NATURAL WATERS

S.A. ABBASI AND P.C. NIPANEY

Abstract

The paper presents the first ever report on a systematic study of the productivit\ (net primary production) or aquatic weed salvinia (Savona molesto Mitchell). The productivity was measured in a natural pond for a continuous period of 12 months and in an irrigation canal for 4 months. The findings were correlated with ambient temperature. rainfrill. solar radiation, and water quality. The weed haJ exceptionally high productivity throughout the year. recording a minimum (440 t ha1 yr-} during January and a maximum of 79 t hal yrl during December, and an annual average of 53.3 t yr.'. Solar radiation. %vithin the range 19.3 - 25.8 N.1.1 f'2 encountered in the present investigation, adversely affected the productivity indicating that Salvinsu may lx' a shade-loving plant Rainfall also had an adverse effect on productivity. The ambient temperature did not vary drastically throughout the course or the experiment; therefore the effect of temperature on productivity was not discernible. The waters oldie pond as well as irrigation canal had far lower phosphorous and nitrogen than needed For the maximum pOssible rate of' growth of the weed. We estimate that on waters liberal in desired nutrients - such as sewage - molesto can attain Productivities well exceeding Mu t (dn; weight). It is, therelOre. likely that S. molest(' may well he the most productive or all vascular plants.

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