A Review on the Role of Duckweed in Nutrient Reclamation and as a Source of Animal Feed

  • Goopy, J.P. (School of Animal Studies, University of Queensland) ;
  • Murray, P.J. (School of Animal Studies, University of Queensland)
  • Published : 2003.02.01


The family of lemnacae colloquially known as duckweed contains the world' smallest species of flowering plants (macrophytes). Aquatic and free-floating, their most striking qualities are a capacity for explosive reproduction and an almost complete lack of fibrous material. They are widely used for reducing chemical loading in facultative sewage lagoons, but their greatest potential lies in their ability to produce large quantities of protein rich biomass, suitable for feeding to a wide range of animals, including fish, poultry and cattle. Despite these qualities there are numerous impediments to these plants being incorporated into western farming systems. Large genetically determined variations in growth in response to nutrients and climate, apparent anti-nutritional factors, concerns about sequestration of heavy metals and possible transference of pathogens raise questions about the safety and usefulness of these plants. A clear understanding of how to address and overcome these impediments needs to be developed before duckweed is widely accepted for nutrient reclamation and as a source of animal feed.


Lemnacae;Nutrient Uptake;Animal Feeding;Waste Treatment;Growth;Effluent


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