The rate of growth of Salvinia molesta (S. auriculata auct.) in laboratory and natural conditions.

Published online
01 Jan 1976
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Mitchell, D. S. & Tur, N. M.

Publication language
Africa South of Sahara & Zimbabwe


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.

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