Aquatic weeds taking over

When Free Floating Plants take over

Aquatic free-floating plants are a great ornamental feature to any pond or dam. They add a delicate splash of colour and bring about birds and wildlife, providing food and a home for microscopic organisms.

But what happens when they become too much?

Aquatic plants such as Azolla and Duckweed are notorious for proliferating in the blink of an eye. One day they are a beautiful addition to your water body and the next they have completely taken over.

Why does this happen?

This sudden growth is usually attributed to an over abundance of nutrients within the water body. Azolla favours the nutrient phosphorus and will gladly utilize the extra phosphorus being dumped into the pond from nearby run-off. Australia is naturally low in phosphorus so when it is added into the natural system via agricultural and urban practices Azolla takes advantage. Duckweed on the other hand can make use of both phosphorus and nitrogen but is likely to thrive off nitrogen.

Too much of anything is not good and the same applies to the natural world. When one species is outcompeting all other species, it can create what is known as a “monoculture”.

Why is this bad?

A monoculture harbours a single species, meaning these areas don’t support a diverse collection of animals or other plants. This throws the ecosystem out of balance and makes it susceptible to serious problems such as disease, loss of genetic diversity, and permanent ecosystem changes.

Overgrowth of free-floating aquatic plants can lead to many problems in your water body. Sunlight is blocked, reducing the activity of the submerged aquatic plants which reduces oxygen availability and can ultimately lead to fish deaths.

Azolla taking over waterbody

How to prevent monocultures:

Keep your pond or dam diverse in native plant species. Just like your garden, your water body can be tended to. If you notice a plant is beginning to grow out of control, you can take action to “prune” it.  Aquatic Technologies offers a natural growth inhibitor and a way to prevent free floating weeds from growing out of control. Check them out here

Azolla taking over
by Aquatic Technologies
If you have any questions regarding looking after your dam or pond and what products are the most suitable for your situation, please read through the helpful articles on our site or feel free to contact our friendly team who can help you maintain proper health in your water body year round.
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