Duckweed (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Researchers at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences are investigating duckweed’s potential as a bioremediating agent, according to the Charlotte Observer. They are looking specifically at its ability to remove nitrogen and phosphates from water, both of which are linked to harmful algal blooms.
So far, the study is moving forward on a small scale. Researchers using bowls about a foot in diameter load water full of ammonia and nitrogen and then track how much duckweed grows in response.
Water in the bowls is tested every few days to monitor changes of the added substances. At the end of three to four weeks, researchers say the duckweed has routinely grown noticeably larger and levels of ammonia and nitrate are almost non-determinable.
Image: Duckweed (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)