Why in news?
Farming in Kuttanad, Kerala is affected by water hyacinth (Eichhorniacrassipes), locally known as Pola or Kullavazha.
About the species:
- Water hyacinth is a free-floating and flowering invasive aquatic plant originated from Amazon Basin, South America.
- The reproduction systems of water hyacinth are both sexual and asexual reproduction.
- The invasive plant doubles itself within 5–15 days.
- Water hyacinth affects the lake hydrology by increasing the evapotranspiration of lake water.
- It creates a favorable environment for the production of snails and mosquitoes.
- The mat of water hyacinth affects recreation and tourism facilities in large water bodies (e.g. VembanadLake in Kerala), impacts fishing and transportation, irrigation, and hydropower infrastructures.
- Now water hyacinth has been used by scientists to produce carbon nanoparticles which can be used for detecting a commonly used herbicide named pretilachlor.