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Water Hyacinth UPSC NOTE

 

Water Hyacinth

  • Pontederia crassipes (formerly Eichhornia crassipes), commonly known as common water hyacinth is an aquatic plant native to South America, naturalized throughout the world, and often invasive outside its native range.

  • It is the sole species of the subgenus Oshunae within the genus Pontederia.

  • Anecdotally, it is known as the "terror of Bengal" due to its invasive growth tendencies.

  • Water hyacinth is a free-floating perennial aquatic plant (or hydrophyte).

  • The invasiveness of the hyacinth is related to its ability to clone itself.

  • Water hyacinth grows and reproduces quickly, so it can cover large portions of ponds and lakes.

  • Water hyacinth can absorb a large amount of harmful heavy metals and other substances.

  • After death, it rots and sinks to the bottom of the water, causing secondary pollution to the water body, destroying the natural water quality, and may even affect the quality of residents' drinking water in severe cases. 

  • Water where water hyacinth grows heavily is often a breeding place for disease vectors (e.g. mosquitoes and snails.

  • The invasion of water hyacinth also has socioeconomic consequences. 

  • Since water hyacinth is comprised up of 95% water, its evapotranspiration rate is high.

  • As such, small lakes that have been covered with the species can dry out and leave communities without adequate water or food supply.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Water Hyacinth UPSC NOTE
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