Duckweed can be a nuisance and ruin any lake or pond’s appearance if it is not removed properly. Duckweed can quickly grow and cover your entire pool in a matter of days. There are many methods to eliminate duckweed. However, it is important to first understand the basics of duckweed and how it grows. Although duckweed isn’t harmful to animals or humans, it can make your pond or lake look bad and ruin its cleanliness and clarity.
Duckweed can be seen as a vibrant, native, free-floating, bright green plant. It is a flat oval shape that can vary depending on the variety. It measures about 1/16 to 1/8 inches in length and has one root that dangles below it. It can grow in huge colonies and is capable of fragmentation and budding, making it one of the tiniest plants to reproduce.
Algae and duckweed have many benefits to a lake or pond’s ecosystem when used in the right quantities. This plant is an important food source for birds and other wildlife. However, duckweed can cause major disruptions if it is present in high quantities.
Unfavorable effects of duckweed
Duckweed is a potentially harmful weed. It can suffocate and take up oxygen from the lake. It can also prevent sunlight from reaching plants that require it for survival.
Along with the presence of duckweed in freshwater systems, there are many negative effects. Duckweed can decrease the light penetration to the water’s surface. This is detrimental to aquatic life below the layer. Submerged plants are also affected by duckweed, as it blocks sunlight from reaching them, preventing them from producing and growing energy. If this happens, they will eventually die.
Another side effect of excessive duckweed is stratification. This happens mainly in deep-water ponds. The water is split by the shading of surface plants into two levels: warmer, oxygen-producing surfaces and colder bottom levels. Potentially harmful substances can build up in the oxygen-depleted, more complex bottom layer. This is known as turnover. It can lead to fish mortality, impaired development, and physiological stresses. This is often the result of wind or severe rain. Excessive algae and duckweed can also reduce sunlight penetration and lead to the death of other vegetation. This can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem.
It can be difficult to detect oxygen depletion at high levels. This is why it is important to monitor the oxygen levels in your pond with an oxygen meter and a test kit.
There are two types duckweed. Lemna minor and Lemna major. While the Major type is difficult to kill, it’s easier to get rid of the minor type. There are many ways to determine which type you have.
How can you prevent or eliminate duckweed in your pond or lake
Duckweed can also cause adverse effects to the environment by blocking sunlight from reaching the plants below the surface, and reducing oxygen levels in the water. You can get rid of duckweed in your pond or lake by using these methods:
- Chemical control – Aquatic herbicides are effective in controlling duckweed and other aquatic plants. However, they should be used with care. If these chemicals aren’t used correctly, they can cause damage to the pond. Before you can choose the right herbicide, it is important to identify the plant or alga you wish to control. Some herbicides require permits to be applied. You should also follow label instructions.
- Biological Control You can reduce the number of duckweed-eating waterfowl visiting your pond. This can be done by placing loose netting in the pond.
- Physical Removal You can remove duckweed by traditional methods such as raking the vegetation of the pond surface. To prevent runoff from returning to the pond, it is necessary to clean up the debris.
Stop the duckweed by using LakeMat
LakeMat prevents the appearance of duckweed in your pond. LakeMats can help you restore the lake’s natural bed and create a beautiful, clear, and clean lakefront.
It is made of solid geotextile fabric and mounted on a strong steel frame that is safe for fish, frogs, and humans.