Also called “water lenses”, duckweeds are flowering aquatic plants species that may float just beneath the surface of water or on it. The plants belong to the family Lemnaceae, has a very simple structure, and are devoid of leaves and stem. Duckweed population spreads very fast and may double itself only in a matter of days. Presence of nutrients in pond water supports the growth of duckweed. It is a source of nutrition for both birds and animals. Waterfowl, duck and herbivorous fish feed on the weed. Duckweed prevents the breeding of mosquitos by not providing to them a surface to breed. The weeds prevent evaporation of water thereby providing for water conservation, and also absorb phosphates and nitrogen to purify water. Duckweed cover also reduces algae growth by shading the plant water body.
But when the duckweeds cover the surface to a greater extent, they deprive the aquatic plants and water animals (including fish) of oxygen. The aesthetics and beauty of the water bodies may also deteriorate because of the weed. Duckweed’s excessive growth also constrains human activities like swimming. These weeds grow in water bodies where high levels of phosphate and nitrogen are found. Therefore, beyond a certain extent, the control of duckweed population becomes a necessity. Here are some methods and tips to control the duckweed population.
Duckweed is the smallest flowering plant and can be removed through the use of nets. Other methods including floating boom, skimming and raking can also be used. The floating boom method involves the sweeping of pond water. The refuse should be put far away from the pond, as animals and human activity may bring it back to the pond. Duckweed is good biomass to be used in compost.
Use of Herbicides
Duckweed can also be killed and removed by the use of herbicides. Products like Fluridone and Diquat can be used for duckweed control. These products should always be used in right concentrations, and according to the instructions, warning, and alerts provided on their pack labels. You may also add chelated copper to enhance the effectiveness of the herbicides towards killing duckweed.
Surface Agitation through Aeration
Aeration devices, including the bubble aeration device, can be used for duckweed control. Aeration will cause agitation of the water, which will result in deterioration of duckweed population. Duckweed prefers still water for its growth.
Duckweed also requires nutrients to grow in pond water, just like other aquatic plants. You can create a buffer zone in between the livestock/garden areas and the pond so that nutrients sources including fertilizers, animal waste and manure do not reach to the pond. In the absence of nutrients, the duckweed population will cease to exist.
Sunlight is necessary for the process of photosynthesis. Duckweed population can be controlled by shading the pond regions, so that sunlight does not reach the pond waters. Shading should be put the pond’s southern side and region, so that maximum amount of it can be blocked.
Always choose the chemical methods of duckweed control at a later stage. At the start, settle with the biological and manual methods, which are not bad for the environment, and are also more affordable. You may also consult an expert herbicide product company and the professionals will provide to you the best, sustainable and environmentally friendly options available. Duckweed can be good for your pond if their population is controlled. Therefore keep monitoring your pond so that you can take early preventive steps.
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