Since effects of alien invasive free-floating plants can be relevant in aquatic ecosystems, we investigated the non-native Lemna minuta impact on four aquatic animal groups: Hydra vulgaris (Coelenterates), Asellus aquaticus (Arthropods), Gambusia affinis (Fish), Bufo bufo tadpoles (Amphibians). An indoor experiment was conducted keeping animals in water held in tanks with L. minuta mats of 0.5 (WI1), 1.5cm thick (WI2) and without mats (WOU). Water parameters (DO, DO%, pH) and animal responses (survival rate, vitality) were measured every 48 h (0–288 h). Treatments with mats showed significant impacts on animals which were more severe with increasing mat thickness. Strong decreasing of oxygen and pH associated with mat occurrence had a large impact on animals. In WI2 all individuals died within 144 h (H. vulgaris, B. bufo within 96h), while in WI1 there was a higher survival rate and vitality (excluding B. bufo died within 96 h) and in WOU no deaths. This evidence suggests L. minuta thick mats (1.5cm) could have a high impact on animal biodiversity, especially reducing oxygenation level in aquatic ecosystem.
Ceschin, S., Abati, S., Traversetti, L., Spani, F., Del Grosso, F., Scalici, M. (2019). Effects of the invasive duckweed Lemna minuta on aquatic animals: evidences from an indoor experiment. PLANT BIOSYSTEMS, 153(6), 749-755 [10.1080/11263504.2018.1549605].