Distribution and Bioresource Potential of Duckweed (Lemna minor L.) in Maiduguri, Nigeria
Keywords:Duckweed, Distribution, Bioresource, Model plant
Lemna minor L. (Arales: Lemnaceae) is a small, delicate, free-floating aquatic plant that grows mostly in a nutrient-enriched environment. It has wide applications in agriculture and biosciences. This study evaluated the physicochemical factors affecting the distribution, biomass, and proximate composition of L. minor in waterways within Maiduguri metropolis, northeastern Nigeria. Duckweeds were sampled with a quadrat (25 × 25 cm) along imaginary transect lines from different areas of the metropolis between the early hours of 9:00 and11:00 a.m. in December 2021. Some physicochemical parameters of the sites were measured. Proximate composition and biomass were determined. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that PC1, PC2, and PC3 explained 79.2% of the variation. The strongest positive correlations were between Mg and alkalinity, while K, Mg, alkalinity and TSS were negatively correlated. Proximate composition indicated 11.4-18.21% crude protein and 45.92-48.47% carbohydrate in the samples. Bray-Curti’s index indicated that duckweeds in the Custom area and Bolori were the most similar (0.99). Samples collected from the Unimaid area recorded the highest wet biomass (5.0 ± 0.2 g/m2), while a sample from Umarari was the lowest (2.24 ± 0.1 g/m2). The physicochemical parameters of the site provided suitable factors for laboratory culture and large-scale production. The findings provide baseline data on the ecology and potential of duckweed as a cost-effective source of crude protein (CP) and other essential nutrients for aquaculture and animal feed, as well as a model plant for aquatic ecology, the environment and biotechnological research. Further studies to explore the applications of L. minor in different fields were recommended.
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