Tell Me About Lemna
Let me summarize about what we know
about transporting Lemna: You can probably get away with just about anything
and the Lemna will arrive perfectly vigorous and ready to take over any
body of still water in which there are no carp.
My question is:What scientific inquiry
was at the root of the original request? I can't even remember now who
it was who asked about it. Is there some interesting experiment that is
Lemna minor holds a special fascination
for me as an aquarist and aficionado of watery places. (So, too, the other
(three?) floating aroids that I know about.) These guys are unusually successful
plants. They have spread across the globe. Question: Were they always across
the globe, or were they inadvertently introduced from some original continent?
They thrive with (apparently) little or no sexual reproduction. Is that
true? Has anyone ever seen a Lemna flower or seed? Why are they not susceptible
to infection, being a single clone? They (especially Lemna) are very hardy.
I have collected pond-side muck and kept it in the dark for months only
to have new Lemna arise as soon as conditions permit. What is the nature
of a Lemna resting spore and what conditions can be endured by them while
maintaining viability? What induces a resting spore? Are resting spores
from Florida the same as the ones that overwinter here in Michigan?
The main problem I have with Lemna minor
is that I can't get rid of them easily. Scrupulous vigilance (or a 10-cent
goldfish) will keep them down. But if you leave even the tiniest remnant
floating you'll have a carpet of green in a couple of months. From an aquarist's
point of view another species, Spirodela polyrrhiza, is much more manageable,
maybe because the plants are individually larger. Despite this rampant
vigor I have never seen a flower in Lemna minor or in Spirodela.
My morning's idle speculation.
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