The rate of growth of Salvinia molesta (S. auriculata auct.) in laboratory and natural conditions.
The growth of S. molesta (see WA 23, 2847) was analysed under a range of artificial and natural environmental conditions. Growth was exponential. The highest rate of increase in leaf number recorded was 21.64%/day and the highest rate of increase in dry wt was 17.16%/day. Plants doubled in size in 4 to 10 days. Relative growth rate increased with an increase in light intensity. The optimum temp. for growth was 30 deg C; growth was reduced at 25 deg C and severely inhibited at 35 deg C. The rate of growth was also adversely affected by a decrease in the availability of nutrients. Under natural conditions on Lake Kariba, nutrient availability is the factor most likely to limit the rate of growth of S. molesta. From summary.