Overview

Comprehensive Description

Eichhornia Kunth, 1843

  • Ito, Yu, Barfod, Anders S. (2014): An updated checklist of aquatic plants of Myanmar and Thailand. Biodiversity Data Journal 2, 1019: 1019-1019, URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.2.e1019
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Plazi

Source: Plazi.org

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Description

Perennial aquatic herbs, rooted or free-floating. Leaves emergent (in ours), floating or submerged; petiole sometimes markedly swollen; lamina linear in some submerged forms, otherwise ovate to ± circular. Flowers 1-several-flowered racemes or spikes. Perianth funnel-shaped, zygomorphic, with a ± curved tube and 6 subequal spreading lobes. Stamens 6. Ovary 3-locular; ovules numerous. Capsule fusiform, covered with withering and persistent perianth. Seeds numerous, small, finely ribbed.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 8 specimens in 2 taxa.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 2
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:23Public Records:15
Specimens with Sequences:21Public Species:7
Specimens with Barcodes:21Public BINs:0
Species:7         
Species With Barcodes:7         
          
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Eichhornia

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Wikipedia

Eichhornia

Eichhornia, water hyacinth, is a genus of aquatic flowering plants in the family Pontederiaceae. The genus is native to South America. Eichhornia crassipes has become widely naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions and is a significant invasive species.

Description[edit]

Eichhornia species are perennial aquatic plants (or hydrophytes) native to tropical and sub-tropical South America. An erect stalk supports a single spike of up to 30 conspicuously attractive flowers, mostly lavender to pink in colour with six petals. When not in bloom, water hyacinth may be mistaken for frog's-bit (Limnobium spongia). The common water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) are vigorous growers known to double their population in two weeks.

Invasiveness as an exotic plant[edit]

Common water hyacinth in flower

Water hyacinth has been widely introduced in North America, Asia, Australia, Africa and New Zealand. They can be found in large water areas such as Louisiana, or in the Kerala Backwaters in India. In many areas it, particularly E. crassipes, is an important and pernicious invasive species. First introduced to North America in 1884, an estimated 50 kilograms per square metre of hyacinth once choked Florida's waterways,[1] although the problem there has since been mitigated.[citation needed] When not controlled, water hyacinth will cover lakes and ponds entirely; this dramatically impacts water flow, blocks sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants, and starves the water of oxygen, often killing fish (or turtles). The plants also create a prime habitat for mosquitos[citation needed], the classic vectors of disease, and a species of snail known to host a parasitic flatworm which causes schistosomiasis (snail fever)[citation needed]. Directly blamed for starving subsistence farmers in Papua New Guinea[citation needed], water hyacinth remains a major problem where effective control programs are not in place. Water hyacinth is often problematic in man-made ponds if uncontrolled, but can also provide a food source for gold fish, keep water clean [2] [3] and help to provide oxygen[citation needed] to man-made ponds.

Water hyacinth often invades bodies of water that have been impacted by human activities[citation needed]. For example, the plants can unbalance natural lifecycles in artificial reservoirs or in eutrophied lakes that receive large amounts of nutrients.

Eichhornia crassipes, the Common water hyacinth, has become an invasive plant species on Lake Victoria in Africa after it was introduced into the area in the 1980s[citation needed].

Dried Water Hyacinth in Bangladesh

Uses[edit]

Since the water hyacinths are so prolific, harvesting them for industrial use serves also as a means of environmental control.

In north-east India, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam the water hyacinth's stems are used as a braiding material and a source of fibers. Strings of dried fibers are woven or interlinked together to form a braid or cord used for making bags, footwear, wreaths, hats, vases, Christmas lanterns, and more decorative materials. Dried stems are used for baskets and furniture. Water hyacinth fibers are used as a raw material for paper.

Since the plant has abundant nitrogen content, it can be used a substrate for biogas production and the sludge obtained from the biogas. However, due to easy accumulation of toxins, the plant is prone to get contaminated when used as feed.

The plant is extremely tolerant of, and has a high capacity for, the uptake of heavy metals, including cadmium, chromium, cobalt, nickel, lead and mercury, which could make it suitable for the biocleaning of industrial wastewater [4], [5], [6],.[7] In addition to heavy metals, Eichhornia crassipes can also remove other toxins, such as cyanide, which is environmentally beneficial in areas that have endured gold mining operations.[8]

Water hyacinth removes arsenic from arsenic contaminated drinking water. It may be a useful tool in removing arsenic from tube well water in Bangladesh.[9]

Water hyacinth is also observed to enhance nitrification in waste water treatment cells of living technology. Their root zones are superb micro-sites for bacterial communities.[10]

Water hyacinth is a common fodder plant in the third world especially Africa though excessive use can be toxic. It is high in protein (nitrogen) and trace minerals and the goat feces are a good source of fertilizer as well.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Troublesome "Water Weed"". Popular science monthly: 429. January 1898. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  2. ^ J. Todd, B. Josephson, The design of living technologies for waste treatment / Ecological Engineering 6 (1996) 109-136
  3. ^ Water Hyacinth For Nutrient Removal, Orange County Water Conservation Department Orlando, Florida, http://www.apms.org/japm/vol06/v6p27.pdf |accessdate=31 July 2013
  4. ^ Upadhyay, Alka R.; B. D. Tripathi (2007). "Principle and Process of Biofiltration of Cd, Cr, Co, Ni & Pb from Tropical Opencast Coalmine Effluent". Water, Air, & Soil Pollution (Springer) 180 (1 - 4): 213–223. doi:10.1007/s11270-006-9264-1. Retrieved 11 November 2007. 
  5. ^ Abou-Shanab, R. A. I. et al.; Angle, JS; Van Berkum, P (2007). "Chromate-Tolerant Bacteria for Enhanced Metal Uptake by Eichhornia Crassipes (MART.)". International Journal of Phytoremediation 9 (2): 91–105. doi:10.1080/15226510701232708. PMID 18246718. 
  6. ^ Maine, M.A. et al.; Sune, N; Hadad, H; Sanchez, G; Bonetto, C (2006). "Nutrient and metal removal in a constructed wetland for wastewater treatment from a metallurgic industry". Ecological Engineering (Elsevier) 26 (4): 341–347. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2005.12.004. 
  7. ^ Skinner, Kathleen et al.; Wright, N; Porter-Goff, E (2007). "Mercury uptake and accumulation by four species of aquatic plants". Environmental Pollution (Elsevier) 145 (1): 234–237. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2006.03.017. PMID 16781033. 
  8. ^ Ebel, Mathias et al.; Evangelou, MW; Schaeffer, A (2007). "Cyanide phytoremediation by water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes)". Chemosphere (Elsevier) 66 (5): 816–823. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.06.041. PMID 16870228. 
  9. ^ Misbahuddin, M.; Fariduddin, A.T.M. (2002). “Water Hyacinth Removes Arsenic from Arsenic-Contaminated Drinking Water”. Archives of Environmental Health. 57: 516- 518.
  10. ^ J. Todd, B. Josephson, The design of living technologies for waste treatment / Ecological Engineering 6 (1996) 109-136
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