Aquatic Fern found at Loktak Lake, Manipur

  • Student Name: Anjali Manoj
  • College/School: CMR National PU College, ITPL, Bangalore.
  • Specimen: Salvinia sp.
  • Specimen collected from: Loktak Lake, Manipur  on 2nd December, 2018
  • Specimen observed at:  CMR National PU College at ITPL, Bangalore on 7th December, 2018

On the 2nd of December, I had collected a leaf and root hair of floating aquatic plant specimen near one of the ‘phumdis‘ of the Loktal Lake at Manipur. I later identified the plant specimen as a member of the genus Salvinia.

I discovered that members of the Salvinia genus are water ferns and in most places, they are invasive species. At Loktak Lake, I found numerous members of  Salvinia and this seems to confirm that they are indeed invasive.

Members of this genus have leaves with spiny hair-like structures. They do not possess true roots. The root-like structures that I observed under the foldscope are actually modified leaf structures that look and function like roots. Salvinia grows in still water bodies like ponds, lakes and slow-moving rivers. It especially thrive in areas that are rich in decaying organic matter. This is probably why it is very commonly seen at the Loktak Lake near the ‘phumdis’ as all the conditions required for them to thrive are met here.

The pictures above are of the Salvinia specimen that I collected from Loktak Lake. The first picture is of the adaxial leaf surface as viewed under a foldscope. The hairy surface is clearly visible in this image. The second image is of a single root hair as viewed under a foldscope.

Below is a picture of the Loktak Lake close to where I obtained the specimen.

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